PD: Vernon man arrested after making threats against schools

Oscar Rodriguez (Photo: Connecticut State Police)

VERNON, Conn. (WTNH) — A Vernon man is facing charges after police say he made threats against schools.

Connecticut State Police  say 24 year-old Oscar Rodriguez  wrote an email, saying he wanted to be the next school shooter. However, they say he did not threaten any specific school or school district.

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Following an investigation, on Monday night, Vernon and Connecticut state police located Rodriguez at his residence on Prospect Street. Lieutenant William Meier, of the Vernon PD, says Rodriguez then tried to do something dangerous.

“While he was being taken into custody he caused the apartment to be filled with gas,” Lt. Meier said. “This caused us to evacuate his apartment as well as the neighboring apartments.”

Residents were evacuated from the building as a precaution.

No injuries were reported.

Rodriguez was arrested and originally charged with Threatening in the 1st Degree and Breach of Peace in the 2nd Degree. However, the threatening charge was changed to a harassment charge.

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He is being held on a $250,000 cash/surety bond. Rodriguez was unable to post that bond. His next court date is March 22nd.

Vernon’s Superintendent of Schools — Joseph Macary — released a statement which set to reassure parents that things will get back to normal soon:

This person did not pose a credible threat to any Vernon School. The Vernon Police and School officials work collaboratively to ensure the safety and security of all students and staff.”

Connecticut is seeing an uptick in school threats, following the shooting tragedy in Parkland, Florida. Police say these days, they are on heightened alert.

“It’s cause for concern,” said Sgt. Eric Haglund of the Connecticut State Police. “It’s something as an agency we fully investigate.”

“The safety of our students and staff is one of our highest priorities,” said Lt. Meier.