Jul 31, 2012 05:17 AM EDT
Student Charged Over Threatening Tweet
A Kent University sophomore has been charged with inducing a panic and aggravated menacing for tweeting a threatening message directed at the institution's president, officials said Monday.
William Koberna, 19, had allegedly claimed on the micro-blogging site he would be 'shooting up' the north-eastern Ohio campus.
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Police arrested Koberna at his parents' suburban Cleveland home Sunday after university contacted police about his profanity-laced Twitter postings directed at university President and the phrase 'I'm shooting up your school ASAP.'
"Our primary concern is keeping the school safe," said university spokesman Eric Mansfield. "We took this tweet very, very seriously, which is why we contacted police so quickly."
Mansfield said university officials are meeting to discuss what disciplinary actions will be taken against Koberna. He could face possible suspension or expulsion.
Koberna, a computer science major, is studying at the College of Arts and Sciences. He was living off campus and wasn't taking any summer classes.
He pleaded not guilty to aggravated menacing, a misdemeanor, in a brief hearing by video conference from the Portage County Jail, and a preliminary hearing was set for Friday on the felony charge of inducing panic, according to court records. A computer science major, he told Judge Mark Frankhauser during the hearing he has "no prior criminal record- not even a speeding ticket."
He appeared via video from the Portage County Jail. Conditions of his bond require Koberna to wear a GPS tracking device and to stay away from university President Lester Lefton and the school.
Koberna's alleged threat on July 25 came just days after James Holmes, a graduate student methodically shot and killed a dozen people at a Colorado movie theater, shocking the nation and rekindling the fiery debate over gun control in the US.