Placer DA drops charges against Rocklin teen

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 1, 2014 - 8:11 pm

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office declined Tuesday to file charges against a Rocklin teen arrested two months ago in connection with social media postings related to gun violence at two Placer County high schools, according to school district and police officials.

Justin Paul Herrmann, 18, had been arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats through a third party and obstructing a police investigation.

Whitney High School officials said there was a rumor about a campus shooting May 30. The rumors were traced to an Instagram profile created seven weeks earlier, which read: “Whitney High School new world order 5/30/14.”

Rocklin Unified School District Superintendent Roger Stock confirmed the district attorney had dropped charges, but he said school officials stand by their determination that Herrmann and the two other juveniles were connected with the social media profile that made threats.

“We are aware that the district attorney has declined to prosecute the charges,” Stock said.

Rocklin police officials also disagreed with the DA’s Office. “Given the same set of facts, our response would be the same,” said Capt. Lon Milka, a department spokesman. “We have to proactively assert the safety of our community.”

The DA’s Office did not return emails or calls requesting comment.

Scott Herrmann, the father of Justin Herrmann, said the episode was a misunderstanding. He said his son sent text messages regarding a prank at a different school that were taken out of context. He declined to make his son available for comment.

Justin Herrmann has since graduated from high school, his father said. Stock said that after a student graduates, the district no longer has disciplinary authority over him.

Call The Bee’s Richard Chang at (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter @RichardYChang.

Read more articles by Richard Chang

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