Man accused of threatening Wausau West teen charged
WAUSAU (WAOW) -
The man accused of threatening a Wausau West High School student appeared in court Monday.
Marcos Garza, 18, of Rothschild is charged with a felony and two misdemeanor counts after police say he threatened the student Friday.
According to court documents, Garza sent multiple threatening text messages to a 17-year-old girl over several hours, accusing the girl of cheating on him. Police say Garza threatened to hurt the girl and two of her friends at school. Garza also claimed to have a loaded gun, according to police, and threatened to come to the school with it.
The girl reached out to school officials for help. The principal called police just after 11:00 a.m. and put the school under a "soft lockdown." Police say several other surrounding schools also went into lockdown.
In the meantime, police reached Garza and convinced him to turn himself in. Police say Garza was arrested near downtown Wausau just after 12:30 p.m. and the school ended the lockdown. Garza had a loaded handgun in his backpack when he was arrested, police said.
Schools reopened around 12:45 p.m., according to Wausau police.
Garza now faces a felony charge of threats to injure by use of a dangerous weapon. He also faces two related misdemeanor charges. A judge set a $25,000 cash bond for Garza. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim or her family and to avoid Wausau West High School. Garza also cannot possess firearms.
His next court date is set for October 17.
Following the incident Friday, Wausau West High School principal Jeb Steckbauer said communication was key.
"I think things were handled quite well," said Steckbauer. "The teacher recognized immediately that this was bigger than he can handle. When it came to me, I recognized this was bigger this could be a potentially dangerous situation."