RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A former California college student who allegedly made terrorist threats against the campus last week was seeking to scare officials into calling off the upcoming graduation ceremony so he wouldn’t have to tell his parents he had dropped out, The Press Enterprise reported Wednesday.
In a desperate attempt to avoid “disappointing his mother,” Audrey Yung, 22, reportedly sent a letter and a pair of e-mails to University of California, Riverside, officials threatening to set off several explosive devices, including a homemade bomb, during Friday’s commencement, the newspaper reported, citing an affidavit filed Tuesday by UCR police Det. Jessie Orona.
According to the affidavit, Yung, who last attended the university in the summer of 2006 after originally enrolling in 2002, would have a reason not to attend the ceremony if it was called off, "and then his mother would return home and everything would be as it once was.”
After finding two plastic bottles that possibly contained flammable liquid near a burning palm tree outside the Life Sciences building early Friday morning, the university delayed the business school commencement until Monday, the Associated Press reported. The school also put off several of its final examinations.
The other five graduation ceremonies, including one for about 600 students the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, were held under extremely tight security Saturday with no disruptions, the Associated Press reported.
Yung was charged with making criminal threats, possession of an explosive device, igniting an explosive device, maliciously setting a fire, possession of a device with the intent to maliciously set a fire and falsely impersonating someone, The Press Enterprise reported.
Ingrid Wyatt, spokeswoman for the Riverside County district attorney's office, told the newspaper that the impersonation charge was filed because Yung tried to frame someone else for the crimes.
After hearing of the accusations, Yung's mother described her son as a "good boy" and said that she was surprised he could be accused of such serious crimes.
"I don't understand," the mother, who declined to give her first name, said. "I tell you, he's a good boy."
UCR police arrested Yung on Saturday in connection with the threats, The Press Enterprise reported. He was released on Sunday after posting a $58,000 bond.
After prosecutors filed charges, police rearrested Yung again about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, stating that Yung's original bail amount was insufficient and that Yung should be returned to custody because he posed a threat to public safety, the affidavit said.
After his bail was increased to $150,000, Yung posted bond a second time yesterday.