A California man is being held on $2 million bale after posting on ESPN’s reader response page that he was watching children and wouldn’t mind killing some of them.
ESPN online readers were commenting on a story about Nike sneakers that cost $270 a pair. Out of the nearly 3,000 reader comments on the story, some talked about children possible “getting killed over the sneakers because of how expensive they are,” reports ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys. Then, Eric Yee’s comment popped up. The 21-year-old former Yale University student commented that he was “watching kids and wouldn’t mind killing them. “What he was posting had nothing to do with sports,” Soltys said, “We closely monitor the message boards and anytime we get a threat, we’re alerting law enforcement officials.”
Police tracked the comment to Yee’s home, which overlooks two schools. Though the schools were notified of the potential threat, officials had to wait for a warrant to search the home that Yee shares with his parents. Surveillance monitored Yee until guns were found in his home and he was arrested. Experts said the $2 million bail is “very high for a person suspected of making terrorist threats,” but Hanni Fakhoury, an attorney and former federal public defender, explains, “To put it in perspective, $1 million is the presumptive bail for murder.” Fakhoury is not involved in this case.
The Huffington Post notes the severity of the threats: “The online post on ESPN said that a shooting would be like the one in Aurora, Colo., where 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in July.” While officials did not state how serious the threat was, they were looking to see if Yee made similar posts elsewhere on the internet. Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Low reports, “We take all these kinds of threats serious, especially with the climate of other shootings around the nation over the past year.”
Investigators are still attempting to determine if anybody else might be involved. Watch the story here. Or, watch Yee’s defense attorney claim that Yee was just making a joke, asking viewers, “How many times have you said, ‘I just want to kill that guy!’ When you don’t mean it.”
What do you think? Do you think Yee should have been arrested for making comments about murdering kids?