Crime

Student arrested after threatening Chowchilla High students, police say

A Chowchilla student was arrested on Tuesday morning, accused of making threats to harm high school students, the Chowchilla Police Department reported.

Chief Dave Riviere released few details and declined to describe the specific nature of the treats or say how it was discovered by police. He also declined to release the student's age.

Riviere said the alleged threat involved Chowchilla High School students but declined to elaborate, saying he couldn't release information "because it's being investigated."

Riviere said there are no other threats to students.

The student suspected of making threats was arrested and booked into Madera County Juvenile Hall, according to a statement from the police department.

Police are "awaiting to see if juvenile probation charges him," Riviere said.

"You are urged to speak with your children about the consequences of their social media posts," the statement said. "Please encourage them to tell someone about any suspicious posts they may see."

Within the last month, four other people have been arrested for making threats to Merced County schools, according to Sun-Star archives. On Friday, a 13-year-old boy was arrested for making terrorist threats against Le Grand Elementary school, according to investigators.

A Merced College student surrendered to police on Feb. 25 after making unspecified threats on social media, police said, though his post mentioned the college. Freddy Matzuy, 34, of Merced, was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats.

Just days later on Feb. 21, Carlos Garcia Aguilar, 29, of Winton, was arrested after he threatened to open fire at a school, the Merced County Sheriff's Office reported. Aguilar allegedly posted videos on social media making the threats but did not specify which school.

On Feb. 16, a 19-year-old former Gustine High School student was arrested after posting a photo of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz with comments investigators described as threatening, according to Gustine police. He was previously convicted of threatening a school officer or employee, according to court records.

According to Modesto Bee archives, there have been at least three investigations into school threats in Stanislaus County within the last month. On Tuesday the Modesto police were looking into a threat made on a nationwide crisis line involving Mark Twain Junior High School. The threat was said to be against bullies at the school and security at the school was ramped up.

On March 1, a 16-year-old former Gregori High student was arrested in the schools lot for having a rifle in his car, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department reported. Police said he did not make threats against the school, student or staff. He was arrested and charged with being a dismissed student disrupting school operations, unauthorized entry onto school grounds, possession of a firearm in school zone and possession of ammunition on school grounds.

In Fresno County there have been at least six investigations into threats against schools, according to Fresno Bee archives. The two latest were reported last week.

On March 1, a bus driver heard a 13-year-old boy threaten to shoot up a school, the Bee reported. The bus driver reported it to police and the teenager was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats.

Monica Velez: 209-385-2486, @monicavelez21

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