First published in the Feb. 11 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.
The suspect who was arrested for trespassing at Crescenta Valley High School last week, triggering a shelter-in-place safety measure at three local schools, was again arrested on two separate, felony criminal charges.
Brandon Santora, 41, was arraigned on Tuesday in L.A. County Superior Court and charged with one count each of possession of child pornography and making criminal threats.
Santora pled not guilty and is being held on $50,000 bail.
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s station detectives had been monitoring Santora since his initial arrest from the CVHS trespassing incident and have been investigating leads about threatening posts on social media. After arresting him in a terrorist threats case, they found possession of child pornography on his electronic device, according to CV Sheriff’s Capt. Robert Hahnlein.
Santora’s preliminary trial for the two felony criminal charges is set for Feb. 23 at the L.A. Superior Courthouse in Pasadena.
In the meantime, detectives continue to investigate.
“We’re going wherever he’s been, we’re making contact with whomever he has contacted and we will soon determine the next best course of action,” Hahnlein told the News-Press, adding “We will make sure to notify the public if he posts bail.”
Last Wednesday, students from CVHS, Crescenta Valley Elementary School and Cloud Preschool were put on alert and a shelter-in-place measure after Santora was seen on camera entering CVHS dressed in all black with a large, black duffle bag. As throngs of CV Sheriff’s deputies established a perimeter around the blocks of Community and La Crescenta Avenues and helicopters hovered overhead, parents worriedly scrambled to the area to wait for their children. Sheriff’s Department personnel and canine units swept the CVHS campus for explosives and deemed it safe.
Since the incident, Glendale Unified School District officials said they have tightened vigilance over the entrances and exits at CVHS, which otherwise has a longstanding open-campus policy.
As the only GUSD high school to have maintained an open campus policy over the years, CVHS allows students to leave and return at will during lunchtime.
The ongoing debate surrounding the come-and-go policy in the face of heightening safety concerns has been reignited among parents and district staff. The district is looking to form a committee on the matter to solicit feedback.
— Andres de Ocampo contributed to this report.