Crime

Merced College student arrested for making terrorist threats, police say

Freddy Matzuy, 34, of Merced
Freddy Matzuy, 34, of Merced

A Merced College student was arrested during the weekend for making unspecified threats on social media, according to campus police.

Freddy Matzuy, 34, of Merced was found at his home on Sunday afternoon and surrendered to police without incident, according to Merced Capt. Matt Williams, the campus police chief.

Matzuy was a member of social media conversation open to veterans, Williams said, and multiple police agencies received calls after the man said something that was “concerning enough” to warrant his arrest.

The Merced man did not make specific threats, but did mention Merced College, Williams said. He was arrested for making criminal threats and is held in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to jail records.

Campuses in Merced County have been on heightened awareness for active shooter events after authorities said Nikolas Cruz, a 17-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killed 17 people at the school with an AR-15 rifle.

“In light of these things that are going on with these school shootings and different events, when someone goes to making these comments we can’t just take it lightly,” Williams said on Monday. “We’re just really glad we could get him into custody and avert anything before it did go bad.”

Classes at Merced College resumed Monday as usual. The campus of 15,000 would have an increase police presence in light of the situation, the administration said in a news release.

Merced College President Chris Vitelli applauded the response. “The safety of our students, faculty and the entire Merced community is always our top priority,” he said in a statement. “I want to thank those people who were monitoring social media for being proactive and alerting the authorities.”

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