Long Beach State University Police Department (UPD) officials are investigating death threats made against the LBSU men’s basketball team after losing to Cal State Fullerton in the Big West championship game on March 12.
Just minutes after the game, direct messages containing racial slurs and threatening photographs were sent to the Long Beach State Athletics Facebook page. The messages came from an account owned by a man in Indiana, according to a search warrant filed at the Long Beach courthouse.
Many of the messages, which included death threats and threats of hate crimes, were directed at LBSU point guard Colin Slater, the second highest scoring player on the team during the championship game.
The message also said CSULB “should be blown up,” and included threats of poisoning an unnamed coach and students at CSULB, as well as a picture of a person holding a pocketknife.
According to the warrant, the staff of Fullerton’s basketball team were messaged by the same account on Facebook, receiving similar threats of violence.
University Police Department Lieutenant, Carol Almaguer said her team worked with local Indiana authorities and have identified an Indiana man as a possible suspect.
“We were able to work with our IT people to see where this message actually was generated from,” Almaguer said. “It led us back to this guy in Indiana.”
On March 17, CSULB President Jane Close Conoley posted on Twitter thanking the UPD for their work on the case.
@CSULBPolice Department worked to protect our campus in amazing ways over just the past few days: two individuals arrested who threatened students and staff members and another to be prosecuted out of state for sending death threats to a student. Thank you! #GoBeach
— Jane Close Conoley (@PresConoley) March 17, 2022
Andy Fee, the executive director of athletics for CSULB, said in an email he is limited to comment while the case is being actively investigated.
“Having said that, clearly the threats are disgusting and abhorrent,” Fee wrote. “Our campus took resolute action and pursued legal channels to address those threats.”