Facebook Rants Warrant Second Look, But No Criminal Charges - NBC Southern California

Facebook Rants Warrant Second Look, But No Criminal Charges

Authorities concluded the threats against kindergarteners were not specific and thus did not file charges.



    Facebook Rants Warrant Second Look, But No Criminal Charges
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    Los Angeles police conducted a second round of searches in the investigation of a Pomona man suspected of threatening school children hours after a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school left 20 first graders dead, according to court documents obtained by NBC4.

    The follow-up investigation failed to lead to a criminal filing, but the search warrant provides the timeline and exact quotations of social media postings that authorities had not previously disclosed.

    LAPD's Crimestoppers program received the original web tip about postings that appeared on Facebook on Dec. 14, hours after a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and shot to death 26 people, 20 of them children.

    "So I woke up this morning and said to myself...Dang you know would be awesome right now... Some dead kindergarteners... and Christmas early," reads one posting cited in a search warrant.

    Palmdale School on Modified Lockdown After Suspected Threat

    [LA] Palmdale School on Modified Lockdown After Suspected Threat
    Joshua Hills Elementary School in Palmdale was on modified lockdown Tuesday evening after one student noticed on Facebook what appeared to be a threat to his class. Police say they don't believe the threat to be credible, but the school is taking extra precautions just in case. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Palmdale for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Dec. 18, 2012.
    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012)

    That posting and two others were made under the Facebook moniker Kyle Props. Police identified him as Kyle Bangayan, 24, a student at Cal Poly Pomona who sometimes stayed with his parents in Hollywood.

    The initial search of the Hollywood apartment recovered nine firearms, including rifles, handguns and a shotgun, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck revealed on Dec. 17.

    "...America, if you post one more facebook post about the shooting at the elementary school, I swear to whatever f***ing god you believe in that I will do the same goddamn thing. I have the guns, I have the incentive, and I won't commit suicide at the end..." reads a portion of a second posting, as quoted in the affidavit.

    It reverberated across the blogosphere. "A little unsettling....don't you think?" concluded the article on TMZ.com that first quoted from the affidavit.

    Despite the concerns raised by police, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office declined to file criminal charges, and on Dec. 17 Bangayan was released. However, Cal Poly is not allowing him to attend classes this semester and has restricted his access to campus while the University conducts a "student administrative review," said spokesman Tim Lynch.

    The worksheet quoted Bangayan as telling officers his posting was intended "as a joke." Neither he nor his parents have been reachable for comment. At the parents' apartment Wednesday, the woman who answered the door then closed it after a reporter identified himself.

    Why the DA rejected the case last month was explained in the charge evaluation worksheet prepared by Deputy DA John Gilligan.

    "There is no reference to threatening actions toward any specific individual or school, which is required in the elements of the PC 422 statute," Gilligan wrote.

    FBI officers were also involved in the investigation, but chose not to pursue a federal case, according to Gilligan's report.

    At the time, that appeared to be the end of the investigation. However, the affidavit for the search warrant dated Dec. 20 reveals LAPD assigned detectives from its Major Crimes Division to investigate further.

    The warrant obtained was for a second round of searches to focus on Bangayan's Pomona apartment and his parents' home.

    The initial search by Northeast-area officers who recovered the guns from the parents' home was "consensual" with the permission of Bangayan's father, according to the affidavit.

    The search warrant return report reveals investigators recovered a laptop computer and ammunition for a 12-gauge shotgun and for handguns of four different calibers: .22, .357, .38, and 9mm.

    Police have not asked the District Attorney's office to reconsider the filing rejection, said DA's spokesperson Jane Robinson.

    Beyond the "joke" reference, Bangayan's motivation remains unexplained. But one of the postings indicates his rage was over the attention being focused on the Newtown tragedy.

    "ENOUGH ALREADY. About 20 thousand kids die everyday anyway," the post read. "There's this place called third world countries where everything sucks and kids die everyday. GET OVER YOURSELF."

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