Eric Ting Yee, the 21-year-old Valencia resident arrested this week after allegedly posting threats against children on an ESPN website, was charged Wednesday with a single count of possessing an illegal firearm. His arraignment has been postponed.
Yee is expected to be arraigned Oct. 16 in San Fernando Superior Court, said Los Angeles County district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison.
Authorities claim that the former Yale University student — who lives with his parents in a home overlooking two schools in northern L.A. County — said he wouldn't mind killing children while commenting about a story on ESPN's website regarding the cost of new Nike sneakers named after LeBron James, reports AP.
"These cases are not always cut and dry," said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles that files less than 10 threat cases a year. "While there are challenges, we have to be vigilant because people sometimes follow through on these threats."
Some of the nearly 3,000 reader comments on the ESPN website talked about children possibly getting killed over the expensive sneakers. Eric Yee posted that he was watching children and wouldn't mind killing them, authorities said.
His attorney, David Wallin, said Eric Yee was simply trying to give his social and political commentary on shoes that cost $270 and was paraphrasing from the movie "American Psycho."
"His entire intent was to talk about his views on these shoes and what they represented," Wallin said. "I could say this is felony stupid but he's not guilty of making criminal threats."
Robison says Yee's father, 62-year-old Roger Manfoo Yee, was also charged with illegal possession of an H&K M-94 assault weapon. He has not been arrested.
The younger Yee withdrew from Yale in May for undisclosed reasons, according to University officials. His bail was reduced to $100,000 from $1 million at a hearing Wednesday.