Mass shootings are front and center in the minds of many Americans these days. The recent string of mass shootings in August alone was unprecedented, so authorities are on high alert any time they catch wind of another potential attack. Unfortunately, a 22-year-old man made up a mass shooting simply because didn’t want to go to the fair with his parents.
Erik Villasenor was arrested on suspicion of making false claims about a possible active shooter after he sent an email to the Los Angeles County Fair association claiming that “someone was planning on doing a mass shooting Sunday at the fairgrounds.”
The Pomona Police Chief Michael Olivieri issued a statement Saturday that explained that the 22-year-old said he just wanted to “inform you guys” of a potential attack.
“It was with the intent that it would spark some chaos and commotion, it would be captured in the news media,” Olivieri told reporters. “And then he could use it as an excuse to his parents not to go to the fair.”
Olivieri added: “Kind of a crazy thing, but that’s what we have learned.” The LA Times reported the fair paid $200,000 for increased security, especially in the wake of the Gilroy Garlic Festival that is still fresh in people’s minds in the area.
The Times stated that the added security consisted of building a command center on fairgrounds, metal detectors and extra cameras.
Miguel Santana, the chief executive of Fairplex, acknowledged the large amount spent on extra security precautions, but also found solace in it. “It provided us an opportunity to test the kind of security systems that we have worked so hard to create.”
Villasenor was contacted by police after sending the email to the association to see what further details he could divulge. After determining that his story wasn’t making sense, Villasenor allegedly admitting to sending the hoax email in the hopes of not having to go to the month-long fair.
Villasenor is being held on $20,000 bond at the Pomona City Jail, the New York Post reported.