UPDATE: KSU Student Accused of Threat Has Charges Reduced
KENT, Ohio — A Kent State student spent the night in jail after he was arrested and charged with inducing panic and aggravated menacing, both felonies.
The charge was reduced to a single charge of telecommunications harassment, a first-degree misdemeanor, on Friday.
William Koberna, 19, of Brunswick, was arrested at his parents’ home in Brunswick the night of July 29th.
The sophomore computer science major is accused of posting a “tweet” threatening to “shoot up the school.”
KSU Media Relations Spokesman Eric Mansfield said the tweet was laced with profanities and also threatened harm and violence against the University’s President.
On Friday, a KSU employee noticed the tweet online and police were notified.
“That’s a very serious tweet to send out. In light of what’s happened in Colorado or the school shooting in Chardon, this is not something we were going to wait on and our police department jumped on it very quickly,” said Mansfield. “We’ve got more than 40,000 students across eight campuses. This is very upsetting, the most important thing to students, staff, alumni and anyone who comes onto campus is keeping them safe so we’re going to take all the necessary actions after a tweet like this.”
KSU officials will decide what punishment the student may face.
One student said, “It’s hard to know about stuff like that. I’d be interested to know what the judge is gonna think of that.”
Freshman Jamal Roberts said, “Even if he was joking, people take stuff seriously.”
Koberna entered a “not guilty” plea during his arraignment. A judge set his bond at $50,000. A first degree misdemeanor charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.