A protest against the death threat. | Gabby Pajo/Mustang News

University Police Department (UPD) arrested Cal Poly student Charles Raymond Bird, 20, around noon on Friday on felony threats and hate crime charges in connection with a death threat made toward SLO Solidarity leader Matt Klepfer on Tuesday.

After issuing a list of demands to Cal Poly administrators on behalf of SLO Solidarity, Klepfer received a Facebook message from a freshly created account called “Mordecai Shekelburg,” which threatened him with hanging and used an anti-Semitic slur.

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

UPD investigated the threat over multiple days as SLO Solidarity protests grew around campus. Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong walked with Klepfer in a “unity march” on Thursday, which drew a large crowd to the University Union (UU) Plaza.

“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 in the press release. “This arrest further reiterates that there is no place for hate at Cal Poly.”

Bird is suspected of operating alone, with no connection to a larger group. He was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on Friday, but was soon released from jail.

“Myself and other student organizers feel much safer knowing that there was an arrest,” Klepfer said.

Bird did not respond to requests for comments.

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