A California man who didn't want to go to the Los Angeles County Fair with his parents allegedly emailed threats that he was going to shoot up the fair in an attempt to avoid making the trip to the event with his parents.
According to Pomona Police Chief Mike Olivieri, the suspect, identified as Erik Villasenor, 22, sent an email Friday afternoon to staff where the Los Angeles County Fair is being hosted this year that read, "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."
Villasenor was supposed to go to the fair with his parents on Saturday and he didn't want to go, Olivieri said in a press conference on Saturday.
"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,” Olivieri said at a news conference on Saturday. “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."
“Kind of a crazy thing, but that's what we have learned," Olivieri added.
Fair staff immediately reported the threat to Pomona police, who worked with the FBI to track the emailed threats back to Villasenor's place of residence in Sylmar, where officers were sent to confront him.
“Officers responded to Villasenor's place of residence in Sylmar, where he admitted to the hoax,” police said. Villasenor made the threat because he didn't want to attend the fair with his parents on Sunday. He'd hoped the chaos and confusion would deter his parents from taking him to the fair, which is being held at the Fairplex until Sept. 22.
Olivieri said the department would be seeking reimbursement for resources spent on the investigation. Villasenor was arrested on suspicion of making a false threat and booked into Pomona City Jail, with bail set at $20,000.
Photo: Los Angeles County Fair