VISTA (CNS) - A 61-year-old man accused of falsely reporting an impending school shooting near his Oceanside home six days after a gunman killed 20 students and six faculty members in Newtown, Conn., pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony charge of making a criminal threat.
A judge allowed Alex Paul Rodriguez to remain free on his posted $50,000 bail and ordered the defendant to stay away from Laurel Elementary School.
Rodriguez, who uses a wheelchair, was taken into custody the morning of Dec. 21 at the College Boulevard residence he shares with his wife, according to the Oceanside Police Department.
Rodriguez allegedly left a message on a voice-mail system at Laurel Elementary at 4:15 a.m. Dec. 20, claiming that there would be a shooting there about seven hours later.
"The caller ended the message with what is being described as maniacal laughter," Oceanside police Lt. Leonard Mata said.
Due to the threat, teachers kept pupils inside locked classrooms for the day as police officers patrolled the western Oceanside campus and surrounding neighborhood.
Investigators were able to trace the menacing call to a cell phone owned by Rodriguez, according to Mata.
"Police found no evidence in his home that suggested Rodriguez intended to carry out the threat," the lieutenant said. "No firearms were located. The motive for the threat has not been established."
The threat occurred amid heightened security nationwide in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 pupils and six staff members were killed.
Rodriguez will be back in court Jan. 22 for a readiness conference and Feb. 11 for a preliminary hearing.
The San Diego Rescue Mission opened its doors to the homeless community on Saturday for its annual Thanksgiving celebration.
A man died after his body caught fire, police said Saturday. At 11:30 p.m. Friday, police received a call regarding a person on fire in a field near 5200 Pacific Highway in Mission Bay Park, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, local business owners and first responders teamed up for an all-to-real feeling hazard drill on Saturday.
A 5-year-old girl who was abducted from New York by her 32-year-old mother, who does not have custody of the child, was found safe Saturday in San Diego, police said.
Before Saturday, Marine veteran Joshua Ray, his wife and six children had just one vehicle to use for all of their family business, and Ray had to take the train from Oceanside to San Diego every day to get to work.
A sea of pink will travel through San Diego starting Friday for the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day. The 60 mile journey kicks off early Friday morning and ends Sunday evening at the final destination – the celebratory Closing Ceremony.
A man arrested on suspicion of committing a murder in Imperial Beach earlier this week remained jailed Saturday.
Spencer Abbott had two goals and two assists after missing two games and Eric Fehr scored twice in his debut with the San Diego Gulls in an 8-3 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners Friday night.
On Friday, a fourth woman came forward with disturbing allegations of sexual assault by a San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as "Highway to Hell," ''Hell's Bells" and "Back in Black," has died.