UPDATE: Suspect Garret Wawrzyk has been released on $10,000 bail
A Penn Yan Academy student was arrested April 20 for making a terrorist threat via a social media posting of himself dressed as a school shooter.Penn Yan Police report 17-year-old Garret M. Wawrzyk, of Old Pines Trail, Penn Yan, has been charged with making terroristic threats as a class D felony.
Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike released a statement at 10:20 a.m. Friday, April 20 in response to a social media threat involving Penn Yan Academy. Spike says Penn Yan Village Police requested assistance from the Yates County Sheriff’s Office late April 19 regarding an alleged threat. Investigation by Deputies led to taking into custody of a 17-year-old youthful offender in the Town of Jerusalem at 11:54 p.m. Thursday night.
In a later press release, Penn Yan Police Chief Thomas Dunham reported that Wawrzyk posted a photo on social media of himself dressed in black and with a weapon, along with the caption “Eric Harris v.2” (version 2). Dunham says this is a reference to one of the Columbine School massacre shooters, and was timed for the 19th anniversary of school shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colo., the 23rd anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing April 19, 1995, and the birthday of Adolph Hitler.
Dunham says the weapon in the photo turns out to have been an Airsoft gun, but a shotgun was also found and taken as evidence. He adds that based on the social media posting, Wawrzyk was banned by the school the day before and was not on campus with a weapon either day. The arresting officers said Wawrzyk was cooperative as he was taken into custody.
Chief Dunham says he is being charged as an adult with making terroristic threats, a class D felony. Wawrzyk was arraigned in Penn Yan Village Court and released on $10,000 bail to reappear later.