Bomb plot suspect Kristofer Clark to be released from jail today


Former American River College student Kristofer Clark, 21, was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on Oct. 8 after allegedly making a threat against the college’s main campus, according to police. (Photo courtesy of the Los Rios Police Department)

John Ferrannini and Jordan Schauberger

By Jordan Schauberger and John Ferrannini

Kristofer Clark, who was arrested on Friday after allegedly threatening to “blow up” American River College, is scheduled to be released from jail later today.

The District Attorney’s office decided not to immediately pursue charges on Tuesday, hours before Clark was scheduled to be arraigned.

“We’ve asked the (police) agency for more investigation,” said District Attorney communications and media officer Shelly Orio.

Clark’s attorney Mark Reichel said that Clark “doesn’t have a clue” why he was arrested and is thankful that charges won’t be pursued.

“The times are heightened sensitivity for this kind of stuff. There must have been some joke made or mistatement made or somebody overheard something wrong and they just grabbed,” said Reichel. “And now he’s spent five nights in jail. It’s a horrible story.”

ARC President Thomas Greene defended the Los Rios Police and the school’s response in a statement emailed to the Current on Tuesday, saying that they acted “appropriately.”

“As recent incidents throughout the country have clearly shown, colleges must respond to any credible threat reported to law enforcement,” said Greene. “Whatever the eventual outcome, this incident is a stark reminder that campus safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

After the former student was arrested Thursday, Clark professed his innocence.

“I’m hoping (the police) got my name wrong … I felt angry because I didn’t understand what was going on,” Clark told with ABC10 News from the Sacramento County Jail. “I wanted answers but nobody was giving them to me. All I’m thinking is ‘what’s going on.’ ”

Clark said that he was accused of saying to a woman who he was hugging that the school was going to “be blown up.”

“They said that the female was hugged and told not to go to school today (Friday),” said Clark. “I would never make a threat to harm another human being.”

Clark was arrested at approximately 6:10 p.m. on Thursday at the McDonalds where he worked on Fair Oaks Boulevard near Manzanita Avenue, about three miles from the campus.

“It was very embarrassing,” said Clark. “There’s no way a manager would keep an employee who was arrested on site.”

The day after Clark’s arrest, Greene held a joint press conference with Los Rios Police Department Capt. John McPeek. According to Greene, a student told a faculty member about a threat from Clark.

The faculty member, in turn, told the Los Rios police.

“The student had the courage to say something and the faculty member immediately reported it,” said Greene. “The suspect has a hold placed on their record and will not be allowed on this campus until the threat has been properly assessed.”

McPeek said that the officers conducted a search of Clark’s family home.

“We did conduct a search of the home and found weapons,” said McPeek. “They were not registered to him.”

Greene tied the student and faculty response to the threat to his campus safety initiative.

“Campus safety is a shared responsibility,” said Greene. “When people take this responsibility seriously, as we have done this week, we create an environment that encourages teaching and learning.”

The college and the police did not release the names of the student who made the allegation against Clark or of the faculty member who reported it.

Clark’s Facebook profile picture depicts a cartoon character with a bomb on strapped to his torso. Clark said that the picture has nothing to do with the allegation he’s facing.

“It (the profile picture) is from Minecraft,” said Clark. “It’s a creature called a creeper which, yes, does explode when it gets near … It’s been on my Facebook page for years. It’s just an adorable character I found.”

“I hate all the shootings going on,” Clark said. “I understand why the police got me but I hope that they find the real person.”

Clark was an ARC student as recently as the fall 2014 semester, but said that he is currently on academic probation. Clark still visits friends on campus.

Clark was saving money to return next year. He said he has considered becoming a teacher.

Sgt. Mike Olson of the Los Rios Police Department said that there are multiple threat levels, and that generally speaking there are several factors that go into determining of a threat is credible.

“How specific the threats are massively change the credibility of the threat. We consider the history of the person, who did he tell, what’s their relationship with him, if it’s a person they know versus a stranger,” said Olson. “In this case, based on the factors involved, we believed this was a credible threat.”

Olson said he couldn’t comment on the particulars of what made Clark’s alleged threat credible.

Additional reporting by Barbara Harvey and Matthew Peirson