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St. John’s student arrested after threatening attack on campus: DA

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A St. John’s student was arraigned Wednesday night after allegedly threatening to emulate the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting on the Jamaica campus, the Queens district attorney said.

Radames Santiago, 18, of Manhattan, was charged in Queens Criminal Court with making a terrorist threat after he said he was going to “go crazy” and kill students on his Facebook web page earlier this week, Queens DA Richard Brown said.

“If a defendant posts a threat on a social networking site it will be treated seriously and investigated thoroughly. Students should feel that they are in a safe environment when they attend school,” the DA said in a statement.

Santiago, who attends the university, posted several messages on his Facebook page on Monday and Tuesday, one of which said “people should watch as he does some Virginia Tech [stuff],” according to DA. He also posted a message that said, “You know I will, and to make sure that people watch CNN or something,” Brown said.

Santiago was referring to the April 2007 massacre where a Virginia Tech University student killed 32 people on campus before taking his own life. A couple of months later, St. John’s student Omesh Hiraman was arrested at the college after he was seen carrying a Halloween mask and a rifle.

Several St. John’s students saw Santiago’s postings and called university officials, who called the police, according to Brown. After he was arrested, Santiago told detectives that he was drunk and depressed “about everything” at the time he posted the comments, the DA said.

Queens Criminal Court Judge Toko Serita ordered him to be held on $2,000 bail and to return to court Oct. 1, the DA said. If convicted he faces up to seven years in prison, according to Brown.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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