Police arrested a 25-year-old Ontario woman Monday on suspicion of reporting a series of 10 phony racist threats at the University of La Verne, which they now say she made herself.
Anayeli Dominguez Pena was arrested three days after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal counts against her, according to the La Verne Police Department and Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
The charges include six counts of filing a false police report, one count of false impersonation over the internet, one count of making criminal threats, and one count of filing a false claim with the state victim’s compensation fund, according to the La Verne Police Department. The latter two charges are felonies.
The series of threats, which were made via emails or text messages, were first reported on Feb. 28, 2019, and appeared to target a student organization in which DominguezPena held a leadership role, officials said. Students said at the time that the group had been active in advocating for social justice.
“A series of nine additional incidents followed the initial threat,” police said in a written statement.
“At one point, the threats escalated to a point where the University of La Verne cancelled classes for a day to ‘reset’ and deal with the threats,” according to the statement.
The alleged threats outraged fellow students, who rallied to the defense of those targeted in the messages.
But as the investigation continued, detectives determined DominguezPena herself was the source of the threats, police said.
“The threats were directed at the University of La Verne, the student group, herself and members of the group,” the police statement said.
The threats used the logo of a fraternity and identifying information of its president “to focus suspicion” on them, the statement said. “Throughout this investigation, no evidence as found linking the fraternity or any of its members to these crimes.”
Additionally, police said it appeared DominguezPena “acted alone,” and no evidence was found that other members of DominguezPena’s student group group were involved.
Bail for DominguezPena was set at $200,000 pending her initial appearance in Los Angeles County Superior Court, which was scheduled Tuesday, records show.