City News Service

Sylmar Man Charged After Making False Threat to LA County Fair to Avoid Going With Parents

Pomona police say the 22-year-old man arrested at his Sylmar home Saturday on suspicion of making a false threat about the Los Angeles County Fair did so to avoid making a trip to the fair with his parents.

Erik Jonathan Villasenor was charged Monday with making a false report of an emergency, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, he is set to be arraigned Tuesday on a misdemeanor count.

Pomona Police Chief Mike Olivieri said Saturday that Fairplex staff received an email at approximately 2:49 p.m. Friday "from a gentlemen who said, basically, 'Hello, I was told that someone was planning on doing a mass shooting on Sunday at the Fairgrounds. I just wanted to inform you guys already.'"

"Though he's 22, he felt that it was appropriate to send this threat and we believe it was with the intent that it would ... spark some chaos and commotion, it would be captured by the media and then he could use that as an excuse to his parents to not go to the fair," Olivieri said. "Kind of a crazy thing, but that's what we have learned."

Olivieri said the police department would be seeking reimbursement for the resources spent on the investigation.

Using law enforcement resources, including the FBI, officers were able to successfully identify the suspect. "Officers responded to Villasenor's place of residence in Sylmar, where he admitted to the hoax," police said.

Villasenor was arrested on suspicion of making false threats and booked into the Pomona City Jail, police said. Bail was set at $20,000.

Fair officials said they increased security last Sunday out of an abundance of caution.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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