Cal Poly student arrested for threat to diversity leader

December 5, 2015
Charles Raymond Bird

Charles Raymond Bird

University police arrested a Cal Poly student Friday for sending a death threat to the leader of the SLO Solidarity student group. Hundreds of students, faculty members and even Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong joined SLO Solidarity in pro-diversity rallies following publication of the threat.

Charles Raymond Bird, 20, allegedly sent the death threat to Matt Klepfer Monday night by way of a Facebook profile with the name Mordecai Shekelburg. Klepfer is the president of the Cal Poly Queer Student Union in addition to serving as organizer for the SLO Solidarity group.

Klepfer and unnamed members of SLO Solidarity were the targets of the threat. The Facebook message also included a jab at Jews.

“The day of the rope will be coming soon, and you people will be the first to go. If you don’t like how it is in this town, you can all go somewhere else. We have a nice thing going here, and if you fuck with that you’re going to have some pretty angry young white man on your hands. Kike.”

Klepfer received the threat late Monday and reported it to police that night. University police investigated the threat for a few days and arrested Bird around noon Friday.

Officers booked Bird in San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of felony threats and a hate crime. No other suspects are connected to the threat, investigators say.

Bird is no longer in custody, according to the county sheriff’s website.

Both UPD Cmdr. Brenda Trobaugh and Armstrong released statements following the arrest.

“The threat was made via social media, and the sender had gone to great lengths to disguise his identity,” Trobaugh said. “This made for a very complex investigation that required our officers to obtain multiple search warrants in order to gather evidence from several places.”

Armstrong said the death threat was reprehensible.

“I am pleased to report that our University Police Department has pursued this incident diligently and that we identified the person we believe to be responsible for this reprehensible action,” Armstrong said. “This arrest further reiterates that there is no place for hate at Cal Poly.”

On Thursday, Armstrong marched alongside SLO Solidarity in the “anti-hate” rally. SLO Solidarity is threatening Armstrong’s job if Cal Poly administrators do not deliver on a list of 41 demands made by the student group.

The group’s demands include mandatory women’s and gender studies or ethnic studies courses, gender-neutral on-campus living quarters, gender-neutral bathrooms and a dramatic increase in the hiring of tenure-line “faculty of color.” SLO Solidarity says it will demand a new administration if its demands are not met.


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32 Comments

  1. Billiam says:

    Faces of Hate: Local Edition!

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. achillesheal says:

    isn’t the poster”boy” for gaylesbiantransgendercrossdresspretendyourawoman etc.. a republican? (the artist formerly known as Bruce Jenner).

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  3. mkaney says:

    That’s a threat? Give me a break.

    (-1) 21 Total Votes - 10 up - 11 down
    • Josh Payne says:

      Wait! Two people liked this statement? Fuck you and your two followers. Anti-semitic fucks.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
      • Josh Payne says:

        I stand corrected not realizing how the thumps up down system worked on this site. 10 fucking people gave this a thumbs up? Did you people not read the threat? If you didn’t read it properly I’ll give you a pass. If you did read it: Fuck you!

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  4. Vagabond says:

    The first mandatory class Cal Poly (Or any school for that matter) should be is basic computer science. In that class they will learn that ANYTHING you put on a device connected to the internet can be traced and revealed TO THE WHOLE WORLD.
    That might put a stop to crap like this and other things like the Ashley Madison case.

    Computers never have been and never will be safe, that goes for anything with an online connection.

    (12) 12 Total Votes - 12 up - 0 down
  5. hotdog says:

    Too bad. In the early ’70s students at Cal Poly registered their miscontent with this sort of behavior by agitating for more diversity. Two brave gays came out of the closet and began the formation of the Gay Student Union club. It was denied by the administration but the enlightened student government (elected in a landslide with the biggest voter turnout in history in March ’71) sued and the club was eventually accepted. Women’s rights, Black student rights, Chicano rights, Native American rights and many other unmet needs were addressed.

    In recent years we have heard about cross burnings, homophobia, date rapes and now this. Pretty sad that our culture of hate is not rubbed out by conscientious parents and education. I wonder how depraved a past this student had. I wonder, if left unchecked, he could shoot up a classroom in his rage and confusion.

    By the way, that ancient group of students that rose from the masses in ’71 to create and guide an enlightened future for Cal Poly was almost all white, non gay and many came from conservative backgrounds. Yet they had the vision, compassion and common sense to see the light and reject the dark. None became involved in Cal Poly affairs for personal gain, they served to serve others who needed them. They focussed their service on those who had previously had no voice in government which was just about everyone but the football team.

    Just some of their lasting accomplishments were (against terrific opposition) was the formation of the Gay Student Union, Student Community Services, and the award winning Children’s Center (a service to student/faculty parents and valuable learning institution). All of these and other successes were designed to serve unmet needs and reduce division in our society.

    After all these years, why is there still a crop of misguided and foolish students in our midst?
    What has gone wrong with our system? What do our parents think of this dysfunction? What are they doing to raise kind, thoughtful and honest kids?

    (4) 20 Total Votes - 12 up - 8 down
  6. achillesheal says:

    Seems as though all these kids have far too much free time on their hands. Maybe the goofy calpoly professors should increase their workloads a little bit.

    (18) 36 Total Votes - 27 up - 9 down
  7. slophocles says:

    He’s just being a good little Republican – a Trumpian in the making.

    (-21) 55 Total Votes - 17 up - 38 down

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