A 23-year-old Fresno man was arrested Tuesday in connection with multiple phone threats about shootings at Bullard, Edison, and Fresno high schools on Monday.
Police said the suspect, Jose Luis Casteneda, attempted to conceal his identity and phone information, but detectives were able to identify him. He was taken into custody at an apartment complex in the area of Dakota and Hughes avenues and booked in Fresno County Jail on three felony counts of making criminal threats.
Monday’s calls were the latest in the region since the start of the school year. One of the first that occurred last month at Bullard prompted a massive police response to the northwest Fresno campus. The Bullard call was one of many that may have been placed from out of the country, and those calls reportedly are under federal investigation.
In a news release Tuesday, the Fresno Police Department called the hoax shooting calls “intolerable” and said they have a “tremendous negative impact” on the community.
“The Fresno Police Department, along with all of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, will investigate each and every threat made against our schools and our children and will hold those responsible accountable,” the news release said.
Although Casteneda has been arrested, police are continuing to investigate the incident.
Calls Create Panic, Waste Resources
Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley told GV Wire on Wednesday that the hoax calls not only cause unneeded panic in the community but also use up police resources that could be going elsewhere in the city.
Even though the calls thus far have been hoaxes, the department will continue to treat each new incident as a potential crime until investigators determine otherwise, he said.
Dooley said the best sources of information about these incidents are the police department, school district, and local news media.