SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - A Southern California student was arrested hours after investigators discovered threats on his Facebook page claiming he was planning Virginia Tech-style violence at a small San Bernardino County community college, authorities said.
“Obviously, it was very alarming once that was read,’’ sheriff’s spokesman Cynthia Bachman said of the threat to Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, Calif. The two-year school 70 miles east of Los Angeles has about 6,200 students.
Stanley Roring, 30, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony count of making a terrorist threat. He remained in jail yesterday with bail set at $50,000.
Roring was arrested hours after school district police contacted sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday about Roring’s Facebook postings, the San Bernardino County Sun reported yesterday.
Roring warned of “genocide’’ against the school, stating “it would be similar in nature to the school shooting which occurred at Virginia Tech’’ in 2007 and left 32 dead and 25 wounded.
The threat was described by Bachman as a “general, blanket threat’’ against the school.
“But he did indicate that [the attack] would be similar to the shooting at Virginia Tech,’’ Bachman said.
Investigators served a search warrant at Roring’s home in the Grand Terrace area. Detectives would not release details about what was found, Bachman said.
A friend or acquaintance notified school police about Roring’s postings.
The college staff was stunned, said Crafton Hills president Gloria Harrison.
“But we are gratified at the courage of the person who reported this matter and grateful to the law enforcement officers who resolved the matter so quickly and without any injury to anyone and without any disruption of classes or work at Crafton Hills College,’’ Harrison said in a statement.
The college disciplinary process has already begun, said Alisa Moore, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino Community College District, adding Roring’s due process rights will be protected. There are no details about what the disciplinary process involves.
Roring pleaded guilty in 2007 to the willful discharge of a firearm in a negligent manner. He was sentenced to 33 days in jail and placed on three years of probation.
Roring might undergo an evaluation to determine his mental state, authorities said.
“If he was mentally prepared to commit a violent act like this or if he was looking for some attention, he definitely got some attention from law enforcement,’’ Bachman said.