An 18-year-old Palm Springs man who allegedly posted a Facebook comment as a joke under a friend's name, saying he would kill people at Palm Springs High School, posted bail Thursday and is awaiting word on whether he'll face criminal charges.
David Guadalupe Torres was arrested about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, a few hours after the parents of two students reported the Facebook posting. He was booked at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, and posted a $75,000 bond Thursday morning.
He was given a Feb. 13 court date at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, but no criminal charges had been filed as of this morning, according to court records.
Police sent their case to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, which will make the decision on whether to pursue a case against the young man.
Torres, who isn't a student at the school, allegedly wrote "im going 2 kill every 1 at pshs 2morow so stay home I got a gun" on a friend's Facebook page as a joke while the friend was away from the computer on Monday afternoon, according to Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff.
Torres had been playing video games at home with the 15-year-old friend, who is a sophomore at Palm Springs High School, according to police. The friend logged into his Facebook account on Torres' computer and didn't log out when he left the room, the sergeant said.
Torres allegedly changed his friend's Facebook status to the threat against the school, and the friend's sister told her sibling about the post.
The friend confronted Torres, who allegedly said he wrote it as a joke. The friend deleted the post, Kovaleff said.
Torres' friend was detained, questioned and released to his guardians after it was determined he was not "criminally liable," Kovaleff said.
Police searched Torres' and his friend's homes and didn't find any weapons. Two computers and a cellphone were seized, Kovaleff said.
He said police found no evidence "to link Torres or his 15-year-old friend to actually carrying out the threat, but will handle any incident of this type with a zero-tolerance policy due to the serious nature of the threat."
Police Chief Al Franz said: "We take these matters very seriously."
"One of the most critical responsibilities of law enforcement is to ensure that our children and their parents feel safe when children are attending school," he said. "That feeling of safety was recently shattered in America, as a result of the tragic events that occurred last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. It is now our responsibility to resuscitate that feeling of safety. We will protect our children and their schools in a manner that ensures that they are safe and that the learning environment is protected."
A judge granted the police department's request to increase Torres' bail from $5,000 to $75,000, Kovaleff said.
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