August 7, 2019

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at about 11:37 a.m., Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Deputy’s Johnson and Lensing received a report that a McCloud man allegedly placed a threatening message on social media via “Snapchat.”  An investigation revealed the man, 22, of McCloud, placed a particularly incendiary message on the social media website related to recent active shooter-type incidents. The message was very disturbing because it referred to mass shootings in a favorable way, idolized the mass shooters, and expressed satisfaction with the victimization of other persons and their families, and the man referred to the hope that such an incident would happen in Siskiyou County.   

After consulting with Sergeant Whetstine, the deputies were directed to take the man into protective custody, pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code (W&I) Section 51-50.  This section of law (51-50 W&I) calls for the detention of mentally disordered persons for evaluation and treatment. Normally, this protective custody provision is used when a person is a danger to others or to themselves.  Detention is normally for a period of 72-hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention or placement for evaluation and treatment in a facility designated by the county and approved by the State Department of Health Care Services.  

The man resides with his parents and pursuant to W&I authority, three firearms found in his home were confiscated for safe keeping and to ensure the safety of the detained person and others in the community.  

According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “In view of recent active shooter incidents in Gilroy, CA; El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH, and other tragedies in recent history, all threats on social media or communicated through other means must be taken seriously by the public, law enforcement, and other service providers.  The sergeant and deputes in this case did exactly what should have been done to safeguard the public and the involved author of these troubling messages. Siskiyou County Behavioral Health Services case workers have responded to a local health care facility to assist with this case. Although the man admitted that he authored the message, he denied the expressed intent to perpetrate an act of terror against fellow citizens, but his motivation and actual intentions could not be reasonably substantiated. I am confident the man will receive an appropriate assessment and treatment that will help him and at the same time protect the community.  This time of year, a variety of local law enforcement agencies often must provide security for many large-scale events that occur in our county. Today, the Siskiyou Golden Fair starts and it is important for the public to know that all threats, no matter how they are communicated, will be taken seriously by involved federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. Anyone with information about a perceived or actual threat made against others should immediately contact their local law enforcement agency, or, threats within Siskiyou County areas or its four contract cities of Dunsmuir, Dorris, Fort Jones, and Montague, should be reported by dialing 9-1-1 if the threat is imminent, in progress, or otherwise, dial SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.”

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