Indiana man suspected of making criminal threats against Cal State Long Beach basketball team
Several threatening Facebook messages sent to multiple men’s basketball players at Cal State Long Beach are at the center of a criminal investigation in which an Indiana man is the main suspect, authorities said.
The unidentified man sent the messages to the Long Beach State University Athletics Facebook page after the university lost to Fullerton State in the Big West Conference championship earlier this month, according to university police.
The Long Beach Post reports that the suspect threatened in his messages to poison players and hurt a coach’s family member, according to a search warrant filed in Long Beach Superior Court. The suspect threatened to hurt a player with death “by a bullet” and also sent the player a picture of someone holding a pocketknife. The suspect also said the university should be “blown up,” and many of the messages were racist and derogatory in nature, according to the court filing.
The threatening messages were flagged by the university’s athletic department, which submitted them to authorities.
Cal State Long Beach spokesperson Gregory Woods said the ongoing investigation limits what the university can disclose.
“That said, we find the threats made against our student-athletes abhorrent and we have been fully engaged in pursuing this matter,” Woods said in a statement. “In response to these threats, the university has provided the players impacted with support during the investigation.”
Threatening messages also were sent to Fullerton State’s Facebook page, including threats to slit the throats of the children of the person who oversees that university’s social media channel, the Long Beach Post reports, citing the search warrant.
Fullerton University spokesperson Chi-Chung Keung said the college’s police department has not received any reports of threats being made against the university’s basketball team.
“We’re not saying it didn’t happen, we just have had zero reports to the UPD of any such threats,” Keung said in an email.
Police are working with out-of-state authorities, who would file charges against the suspect. But as of Tuesday the suspect had not been contacted by Indiana authorities, Cal State Long Beach police Lt. Carol Almaguer told The Times.
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