Student Arrested Following Social Media Threat

NEWS RELEASE 17-230
Garcia,Reinaldo

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office charged a Riverview High School student after he made a threat to do violence via the popular social media platform known as ‘Snapchat.’

 Deputies were first advised of the possible threat Tuesday night just after 10:00 p.m., when the student posted a photo of an apparent gun with text that read, “School gunna be lit tomorrow.” Deputies and detectives immediately responded to the student’s home where they interviewed him and determined the weapon was actually an airsoft gun. In an abundance of caution, deputies provided an extra presence at the school campus Wednesday morning while detectives investigated the incident. As a result, detectives charged Reinaldo Garcia, DOB 11/19/01, of Sarasota, with a single count of Threats to Kill or Do Bodily Injury, a felony. He was booked Wednesday afternoon into the Sarasota County Jail and released to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

“This incident should serve as a strong reminder to young people that threats, no matter how they are delivered, are taken seriously by law enforcement,” explained Sheriff Tom Knight. “Parents should continue to teach their children how to responsibly use social media and as always, if they see or hear something suspicious, to report it immediately.”