The Modesto Police Department is investigating a possible hate crime linked to Central Catholic High School students. The case stems from a Snapchat video of a teen boy with a noose then cuts to a gun fired off.
A rifle, a threat to a teen boy, which we’ve edited out to protect the student’s identity, while a seemingly carefree student holds up a noose, speaks an expletive and laughs. Seconds later a gun is fired off.
“It’s a story of hate. It’s a story of violence. It’s a story of bullying,” Jacq M. Wilson, an attorney with the San Francisco-based Allan M. Schuman & Associates told FOX40 over the phone.
Wilson represents Tanya Porter and her son, the teen named in the video. He attends Central Catholic High School in Modesto. Wilson said the video is cyberbullying at the very least.
"It’s a hate crime. It’s possibly even a domestic act of terrorism. It’s a criminal threat,” Wilson said.
The teen’s mom approached the school about the video back on March 25.
"We’ve been working aggressively because of the urgency and the seriousness of the matter,” Jim Pecchenino, the president of Central Catholic High School said.
Pecchenino did not give us an exact timeline of the action they’ve taken, but he said the video does not represent their values.
"Doesn’t represent the mission or the spirit or the family of Central Catholic High School."
Wilson claimed the mother never heard back from the school so she filed a police report on Tuesday.
The Modesto Police Department confirmed they are investigating the incident as a crime and added they believe there may be more than one suspect.
"We are working diligently internally as well as cooperating with Modesto Police Department,” Pecchenino stated.
Wilson said the teen seen in the video, whose face we blurred out, has not been disciplined. The president of the high school would not comment.
"I’m really not at liberty to discuss individual students. I want to protect all the students,” Pecchenino said.
The attorney said his client just wants to feel safe in school and for Central Catholic to educate and protect their students and staff so threats like this never happen again. Wilson said they will be meeting with educators on Friday.
The Modesto Police Department said they are taking the investigation very seriously and over the last 24 hours have dedicated personnel and their detectives to follow up on leads.