A Freeport man was arrested Tuesday and charged with making a terroristic threat after he threatened in social media posts to shoot police officers, authorities said.
Leonel Vinas, 26, of Ocean Avenue, posted multiple threats Monday morning on Instagram, with one of them referencing hijacking, authorities said.
Vinas Instagram posts included multiple expletives and mentioned his anger at "so many things and people," according to court records. "So here's a message. I'm going to the Dominican Republic. The first cop that stops me, is either getting shot, or getting hi-jack. So if you [expletive] dont want fire, get out of my [expletive] way.”
The Instagram posts also included references to the devil, soldiers and God, according to court records. He told police he wrote the posts "in order to make the police and government act better as well as treat him better.”
Freeport Village Police Chief Miguel Bermudez said at a news conference that Vinas confessed to writing the posts, but the threats were not directed at any specific law enforcement agency.
Port Authority police took Vinas into custody Monday afternoon at JFK Airport as he was about to board a plane to the Dominican Republic, Freeport Village Mayor Robert Kennedy said.
Vinas was arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead on one count of making a terroristic threat. His bail was set at $10,000 bond or $7,500 cash and neither had been posted by Tuesday night, according to court records. His case was continued until Friday.
The posts were found by an off-duty Freeport Village police officer at about 5:30 a.m. Monday and reported it immediately, the chief said.
By the time the Freeport police officer saw the posts, 2,639 Instagram users had also seen the threats.
“Even more troubling, Bermudez said, "there were 19 likes on this Instagram post that other people did not report to us.”
With Michael O'Keeffe