Beyond Sacramento

‘Just some social media things’: No, a man wasn’t attacking Folsom residents with a machete

No, a man was not running around the idyllic sprawl of Folsom’s Lembi Park Wednesday, wielding a machete and cutting people.

Still, some Folsom residents took to a popular Facebook page called Folsom Chat to discuss rumors about the alleged attacker.

“I heard there was a homeless man charing people with a machete,” said a user named Linzi Miner.

“Did the guy with machete cut people like they are saying, pretty crazy,” said user Rebecca Neider.

“Whatever is going on in Folsom pales in comparison to what’s going on in Sacramento and Sac County so essentially its not newsworthy,” said user John Mercurio. “A homeless guy with a machete... big deal.”

The rumors? Not true, said Folsom Police Department spokeswoman Detective Melanie Catanio.

According to Catanio, two men who knew each other got into a “verbal confrontation” at the park Wednesday morning.

One of them had a knife and “basically pointed it in the direction” of the other person “and said ‘don’t follow me,’ then took off,” Catanio said.

The man who was threatened later called police claiming he was cut with a machete, but police determined he suffered no physical cuts or injury.

Dustin Simpson, 32, was later arrested about 10 a.m. near the park on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, threatening to commit a crime causing death and violating his probation, according to Wednesday’s Folsom police crime log. He’s scheduled to appear in court Friday.

Some residents also commented that nearby schools were on lockdown because of the incident. Brighton Schools, a preschool located about a quarter-mile away, was on a “lockdown” for about five minutes.

“We got a notification from a parent, so we did a precautionary (lockdown) then called the police department and they said they never issued a shelter in place,” said assistant director Tiffany Anderson.

The lockdown consisted of “shutting blinds and turning lights off,” Anderson said. “It was nothing major.” Another nearby preschool mentioned by commenters, Growing Brilliant Folsom Preschool, could not be reached for comment.

To be fair, many commenters pointed out that initial reports of the attacker should be viewed with caution before jumping to conclusions.

The claims, as Catanio characterized it, were “just some social media things that were not quite right.”

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Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks covers Sacramento County and the cities and suburbs beyond the capital. She’s previously worked at The New York Times and NPR, and is a former Bee intern. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was the managing editor of The Daily Californian.
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