FREMONT — A 17-year-old was in county juvenile hall after his arrest Wednesday on suspicion of a hate crime and terroristic threats in connection with social-media posts threatening gun violence and using racial epithets against a school district employee, authorities said.
In a statement Wednesday night, police said staff at American High School, 36300 Fremont Blvd., called just before 9:45 a.m. with word of the student’s social-media posts, which school resource officers investigated with help from Fremont Unified schools staff.
After those officers identified the student, they spoke with the student, identified only as a 17-year-old male, and his parents at an off-campus site before arresting and booking him on suspicion of a hate crime and making felony terroristic threats. After obtaining a warrant, officers searched the student’s home and recovered evidence but no firearm, police said.
Shortly after the student was in custody, he made more gun-violence threats against the school employee, as well as “committing additional gun violence at an unnamed school,” police said. Although police said they believe only the arrested student made any threats, investigators were working to find any other potential victims or involved parties.
Fremont police Chief Sean Washington, who learned of the incident shortly after issuing a statement of “condolences, prayers, and support” for families affected by Tuesday’s tragic mass-shooting event at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, praised officers’ response to the student, as well as other students and parents who shared word of the social-media posts.
“Considering recent events, I want to ensure the public that school safety is our top priority,” Washington said in part Wednesday night. “I have directed additional patrol checks towards all school campuses, including resources from specialized units.”
Officials did not share any connection between Wednesday’s arrest and last month’s discovery of a noose, described by the school district superintendent as a “symbol of hate and violence,” removed from a tree on campus early last month.
Anyone with information may call Fremont police schools officer Sgt. Calvin Tang at 510-790-6743 or e-mail [email protected], or send anonymous tips by visiting https://local.nixle.com/tip/alert/5788118 or texting TIP FREMONTPD followed by a short message to 888777.
Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.