Long Beach police Tuesday announced the arrest of a man who allegedly made an online threat of violence targeting an unspecified “scheduled special event in the city of Long Beach,” possibly a rally planned Tuesday evening by Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Jose Rafael Guzman, 27, of Huntington Park, was arrested Monday and booked on suspicion of criminal threats and threatening a public officer, according to the Long Beach Police Department. He was released on $50,000 bail.
“On Sunday … a concerned community member notified the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) of an online threat of violence potentially occurring at a scheduled special event in the city of Long Beach,” police said in a statement.
“Once informed, the LBPD took immediate steps to investigate the potential threat,” police said. “Making any kind of threat — whether in person or online — is illegal and has serious consequences.”
Police declined to state exactly what event was being targeted. Department spokeswoman Shaunna Dandoy told the Long Beach Post the target was a “political rally” set for Tuesday evening.
Sanders is scheduled to hold a rally Tuesday night at Long Beach City College.
“We take all potential threats of violence very seriously and thoroughly investigate all reported incidents,” said LBPD Chief Robert Luna. “Our department will remain vigilant and continue to be visible to ensure the safety of our community.”
The exact nature of the alleged threat was not released, and police did not comment on whether Guzman may have actually had the ability to carry it out.
In response to the recent mass shootings in recent days, the LBPD has scheduled extra patrols and will place all available resources in “high visibility areas,” police said.
“These efforts will continue in the upcoming days,” police said.
Anyone with information regarding a threat of violence was urged to call 911; or in a non-emergency situation to call 562-435-6711. People also may call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.
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