Daily 49er

University Police arrest suspect for threats made to La Raza Student Association

The Fountain Valley resident remains behind bars in Long Beach City Jail until prosecution.

Members+study+in+La+Raza+Student+Center.+In+September%2C+the+group+received+death+threats.
Members study in La Raza Student Center. In September, the group received death threats.

Members study in La Raza Student Center. In September, the group received death threats.

Courtesy of Multicultural Center

Courtesy of Multicultural Center

Members study in La Raza Student Center. In September, the group received death threats.

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Two months after La Raza Student Association received death threats through Facebook, a suspect was taken into custody. 40-year-old Christopher Cook of Fountain Valley was booked by University Police into the Long Beach City Jail on suspicion of five counts of felony criminal threats, 422 Penal Code, with a hate crime enhancement.

Cal State Long Beach president Jane Close Conoley announced through a campuswide email Tuesday that the suspect had been taken into custody after a complex investigation was conducted by University Police, which served as lead law enforcement agency in this case.

“I want to personally thank Chief Fernando Solorzano and his University Police Department colleagues for the time and effort they devoted to this case,” Conoley said. “It is because of their professionalism and diligence that we close a chapter in this ugly story and are able to continue building trust and strengthening lines of communication.”

Asia Gonzalaz, a political science major and member of La Raza, said herself and the student association were informed of the arrest 10 minutes before the campus-wide email was sent out.

“I didn’t think anything would actually be done,” Gonzalaz said. “When we finally received the report, we were pleasantly surprised.”

According to background information published on the CSULB newsroom, it was discovered that Cook, who denied making any threats during the investigation, owned firearms. After he was placed under surveillance sometime between September and November, enough evidence was procured to issue a warrant for his arrest. The 422 Penal Code is administered when any person threatens another either vocally, written or through electronic communication with intent to hurt or end the life of another person.

According to Solorzano in a statement released on CSULB’s website, Cook is expected to face charges that include a hate crime enhancement. The case has been turned over to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

This story will be updated.

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