SWAT team arrests ex-high school employee accused of threats

VISTA, Calif. — A former speech therapist at Rancho Buena Vista High School was arrested Friday for allegedly threatening co-workers while working at the northern San Diego County campus.

A SWAT team took 33-year-old Arturo Avina into custody in the 1000 block of Shadowridge Drive in Vista about 9 a.m., according to sheriff’s officials.

Last month, co-workers of Avila’s began receiving menacing messages, Sgt. Shane Watts said. The victims notified law enforcement, and investigators ultimately identified Avina as the alleged perpetrator.

No students were involved in the threats, according to Lisa Contreras, director of communications for Vista Unified School District.

“At no time were there any students who were in danger,” Contreras said.

Authorities released no details on the nature of the purported threats and did not specify the number of alleged victims.

Avina worked for the school district from August 2017 until January of this year, Contreras said.

The suspect was being held at Vista Detention Facility on $150,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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