Photo Courtesy of Mount Airy Police Department
By: Bailey Hendricks, Editor-in-Chief
A Towson University student was arrested and charged Wednesday with making a threat of mass violence on social media, according to the Towson University Police Department and the Mount Airy Police Department.
Eric Barker, a 20-year-old commuter student from Mount Airy, was arrested by the Mount Airy Police Department on an open warrant at 8:25 a.m. Wednesday after TUPD notified MAPD of the threat, according to MAPD.
The threat was made through social media Tuesday morning, according to the TUPD crime log. TUPD was alerted to the threat after a TU staff member became aware of Barker’s threatening posts on social media, according to court documents. Other TU faculty, staff, and students became very concerned and alarmed from the posts, according to court documents.
Barker was released on a $30,000 bond, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear in court for trial in late December.
Towson University sent out a campus-wide email and Twitter post Friday afternoon alerting the community of the incident. Barker is not allowed to return back to campus, according to the email.
“TU is cooperating with the investigation and there is no threat to campus,” the email read.
Some students took to social media to express their reactions to the news of a threat of mass violence to campus.
“So Towson just wasn’t about to tell us a TU student was arrested yesterday for making threats of MASS VIOLENCE via social media?????,” Twitter user @JayStn wrote.
Twitter user @JayStn also expressed concern in not finding out about the threat sooner.
“I understand not wanting to incite panic, but to just not say anything about it?,” the tweet read. “We see the news. They could at least reassure us that they’re doing something about it. Even if the threats weren’t made at Towson directly, he’s still a student here.”
Twitter user @jiggabby responded to the news by expressing their surprise that more people weren’t talking about it.
“So why is NO ONE talking about how some kid was about to commit MASS VIOLENCE at Towson!???!,” the tweet read.
Students and community members of the university seeking support can call the Counseling Center at (410) 704-2512.
The Towerlight will update this story as more information becomes available.