Man Admits to Making False Mass Shooting Threat to Avoid Going to L.A. County Fair With His Parents
A 24-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to reporting a false threat of a mass shooting at the Los Angeles County Fair, which he wanted to avoid attending with his parents, officials said.
Erik Villaseñor of Sylmar was immediately sentenced to 180 days in county jail and three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution and stay away from the Pomona Fairplex during his probation, Pomona police said in a news release.
Police did not say how much Villaseñor would have to pay, but prosecutors previously said he faced a $1,000 fine.
Villaseñor sent an email to fair officials on Sept. 13 saying he wanted to warn them about a mass shooting set to take place at the fairgrounds on Sept. 15, the DA said.
The Fairplex alerted the Pomona police, who began investigating with assistance from the FBI.
Law enforcement traced the email to Villaseñor’s Sylmar home and tactical teams arrived at his house before midnight Sept. 13.
Villaseñor admitted to sending the email and was taken into custody, officials said.
Investigators determined it was all a hoax.
Pomona Police Chief Michael Olivieri Jr. said Villaseñor wanted to “spark some chaos and commotion” so that he could use it as an excuse to get out of fair trip his parents planned for Sept. 15.
Villaseñor lives with his parents, officials said.
The Fairplex had recently spent $200,000 to beef up security in the wake of several recent mass shootings, including the fatal shooting at Gilroy Garlic Festival.
Villaseñor was charged Sept. 17 with one misdemeanor count of false report of emergency.