A Toledo man convicted of threatening on social media to “shoot up” Waite High School was sentenced Tuesday by a Lucas County Common Pleas judge to six months in jail.
Christian Costet, 20, of the 600 block of Congress Avenue was also sentenced to 90 days in the Lucas County Correctional Treatment Facility, and then an additional 90 days of work release, as well as four years on probation by Judge James Bates.
Costet pleaded no contest April 24 to inducing panic, a fourth-degree felony. He had been indicted on a second-degree felony charge.
Costet's attorney, James Neumeyer, said his client had suffered from depression and other mental health issues, but had stopped taking his prescribed medication as he got older and instead self medicated with alcohol and marijuana. Mr. Neumeyer also said Costet dealt with depression through humor.
“This is a situation where the joke isn’t funny,” he said. “It was a joke in very poor taste.”
An assistant county prosecutor previously told the court Costet posted a group message on Facebook telling a girl that if she didn't have sex with his friend, he would "hit up Waite High School on Tuesday." He also posted photos of himself holding up a non-functioning, replica, semi-automatic rifle.
Several youths who saw the post told their parents, who contacted Toledo police.
Mr. Neumeyer said Costet had no intention of carrying out the threat.
“I made a mistake, one I deeply regret,” Costet said.
Judge Bates told Costet “this is not a joke,” and that he takes threats to schools seriously. In school safety training sessions and after real shootings, reports about threats similar to ones Costet made sometimes are revealed, and law enforcement is criticized for not acting sooner, the judge said.
“I don’t want to be that person they criticize if you do something in the future,” he said.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.