December 4, 2015

Contact: Matt Lazier

Cal Poly University Police Arrest Student in Connection with Online Death Threat

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly University Police on Friday arrested a university student on felony threats and hate crime charges in connection with a death threat made earlier in the week against a leader of the SLOSolidarity student group.

“I am pleased to report that our University Police Department has pursued this incident diligently and that we identified the person we believe to be responsible for this reprehensible action,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “This arrest further reiterates that there is no place for hate at Cal Poly.”

University Police arrested Charles Raymond Bird, 20, around noon Friday after several days of investigation into the death threat sent late Monday to Cal Poly student Matt Klepfer. The threat was aimed at Klepfer and other unnamed members of his student organization SLOSolidarity (which has recently lobbied university administration for greater focus on campus diversity).

UPD officers actively investigated the threat throughout the week after receiving a report Monday night.

“The threat was made via social media, and the sender had gone to great lengths to disguise his identity,” said UPD Cmdr. Brenda Trobaugh. “This made for a very complex investigation that required our offices to obtain multiple search warrants in order to gather evidence from several places.”

Investigators said the threat against Klepfer was made by an individual and is not connected with any additional suspects or groups.

Bird was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on Friday. UPD’s investigation into the case is continuing, and no further information is available at this time.

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