A British man accused of calling in a bomb threat to La Jolla Country Day School and sending harassing emails to San Diego school officials in February was arrested in England, where he is being criminally prosecuted, it was announced Tuesday.
William John Cooper, 39, is facing three counts of harassment and one count of violating a restraining order.
San Diego Unified Schools Chief Rueben Littlejohn and his team worked cooperatively with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and officials in England to investigate the threats.
A warrant was issued for Cooper’s arrest in San Diego County on May 27.
Because he allegedly carried out the threats while residing in England, officials in his homeland are able to charge him and carry out the prosecution for crimes he allegedly committed against individuals in San Diego, according to authorities.
“We take threats against schools seriously in San Diego County and work successfully with our law enforcement partners in other jurisdictions to identify those who would make them,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
“This case demonstrates there will be consequences when school threats are made,” she said. “You can run but you can’t hide — even outside the borders of the U.S.”
Cooper was arrested June 26 at his home in Southampton, Hampshire, and authorities seized his computers and phone. He posted bail and will be back in court July 24.
Even though Cooper is being prosecuted in England, he can and will be prosecuted in San Diego County if he returns to the United States, according to Dumanis’ office. At this time, there are no plans to extradite Cooper to San Diego, authorities said.
— City News Service