Student Arrested In Connection With Social Media Threat Against Widener University
By Syma Chowdhry
CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) -- Students and faculty at Widener University were on high alert after a someone made a threat on campus.
Police say 20-year-old Luis Andres Vela, a freshmen student from Lodi, New Jersey, was taken into custody without incident.
The student is accused of anonymously posting a message on an app called Yik Yak and writing that he wants to shoot up the campus for being bullied. He also allegedly referenced Columbine.
That message was sent out 10:30 this morning and campus officials were alerted by a student who saw it.
Police Commissioner Joseph Bail says,"There is nothing that is anonymous on social media."
Police say the investigation revealed that the posting was removed minutes after it was posted, but caused such an alarm that students notified campus security and Chester police. County and city detectives arrived on the main campus and had the suspect identified, located and placed into custody within 90 minutes.
Bail says, "His room was searched, his computer was seized."
Police say Vela is a criminal justice major.
Chester Mayor John Linder, a former teacher, says there is no room for violence in schools.
"No one was injured, no one was hurt and the response was very good."
Students received alerts about the situation and were pleased with the university and police's response.
Lauren Marino, a senior, says, "Bunch of my friends said the same thing. They saw a bunch of cops I don't think anyone was crazy nervous because they said they were investigating."
Rachel Synder, also a senior, adds, "It is always alarming but if you look around and no one else is freaking out you are like 'well if no one else is freaking out I guess it's not that big of a deal.'"
Police and school officials say the there was no imminent threat, but they take all threats seriously.
Police say Vela is being charged with Terroristic Threats, Simple Assault and Harassment.
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