SLO police arrest teen for posting airsoft gun photos

March 2, 2016

ToygunsPolice arrested a San Luis Obispo High School student who posted photos on Facebook of himself holding airsoft guns while dressed in military attire. The teen is reportedly charged with making a criminal threat. [Tribune]

The SLO High student posted the photos on his personal Facebook account and shared them with a small group of friends, police Lt. Jeff Smith said. The student made no specific threat in the Facebook posts, but he made some references that were concerning, Smith said.

When questioned by police, the teen admitted he made a mistake but said the photos were playful banter with friends who understood he was joking.

A law enforcement officer saw the photos on Friday and notified SLO High’s school resource officer. The student was taken into custody toward the end of the school day on Friday. He was then taken to Juvenile Hall.

Smith said airsoft weapons can look realistic but are not threatening. Airsoft guns fire plastic pellets.

Officers also determined it was not unusual for a student to have military attire, Smith said.

The district attorney’s office will review the case and will reportedly determine whether the criminal threats charge is a misdemeanor or a felony.


I lived through this. Camo-Airsoft. My son would get together with his USMC buddies (in between deployments) and enter competitions. Misdemeanor, felony? Why not speak the parents first?


SLO cops are cruising Facebook? that giant sucking sound you hear are post deletions taking place on FB today. Status Update!


This is Ridiculous! SLO PD really! You guys have way to much time on your hands. Time to cut the force or reassign them to the Sheriff for more productive activities in the County!


I agree! Can they take their cutesy SUVs and tactical bicycles with them?


Now now now….don’t jump to any conclusions…maybe his trash cans were in view of the photo.

To bring the arresting officer up to speed I will post this:

False imprisonment is a restraint of a person in a bounded area without justification or consent. False imprisonment is a common-law felony and a tort. It applies to private as well as governmental detention. When it comes to public police, the proving of false imprisonment is sufficient to obtain a writ of habeas corpus.


“A law enforcement officer saw the photos on Friday and notified SLO High’s school resource officer…”

What else was the law enforcement officer looking at?

Was he surfing the Internet looking at children’s facebook pages while on duty? – a little creepy if you ask me.

I think this kid will get a new car or his college tuition paid for by the time his parents are done negotiating an appropriate settlement from the SLOPD and the School District, as it should be.


Hey dude, this is the 21st century, and coppers are looking for terrorists on every facebook page! How else to justify being at the station all day?


It was highly likely that the incident was told to a teacher, who then called the cops; the cops then called the school. I’m sure someone is salivating at all the increased funding for proper training and procedures to teach all involved that is likely to come of this.

Need more equipment and training, and possibly personnel. ‘Cuz we’re never safe, right?


As I contemplate this event I am reminded of “Ralphie” on Christmas Story Watch the clip and decide for yourself … Did SLOPD overreact?


Outrageous! What kind of Police chief did you hire, San Luis Obispo, a NAZI Commander? Arresting and charging juveniles for posting on Facebook in camo and airsoft gear is not the kind of crime fighting that we need or want in California.

I certainly understand that the police had to check this out, but once they found that there was no threat, they proceeded to arrest the kid. Why?

Please keep us apprised, CCN. If the family decides to sue the Police Department or the City for false arrest or sets up a GOFUNDME account, I will be the first to donate.


The other day I witnessed some Mexican little boy wielding a two foot capgun rifle and shooting it point blank in the faces of other children at ECHO in Atascadero, with the immigrant father nearby, looking on. After reporting it, I was told it was ok, the boy was just being a boy, that it was just a toy.


How did you know the little boy was “Mexican?” Why did you feel the need to point out his father was an “immigrant”?


Wouldn’t it be ironic if the kids daddy was an attorney in a slump just drumming up easy business?

Nothing warrants nor implies a crime has been committed in my opinion.


Guess they just took him for a joy ride to Juvi for fun! Guess the DA has nothing better to do? Are you living under a rock?


I don’t think the DA was involved in the arrest, and I’m sure he is starting to wonder if he has to be the arbiter on every arrest the SLO police department makes. Remember the city bus threat case?