Rochester, NY – A 21-year-old illegal immigrant with mental disabilities was arrested in Rochester on Feb. 20 for making terrorist threats against students at East High School.
Abigail Hernandez, who was allowed to stay in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, posted a message to the East High School Facebook page on Feb. 15 threatening students at her former high school, The Democrat & Chronicle reported.
“I’m coming tomorrow morning and I’m going to shoot all of ya b***hes,” Hernandez posted.
Hernandez was a student at East High until three years ago, when she moved to Edison Tech High School because it had a better special education program for her, The Democrat & Chronicle reported.
Her parents said that 10 Rochester Police Department (RPD) officers had come to their home on the morning of Feb. 16, and taken their daughter away for questioning. Police returned Hernandez to her home later the same day.
On Feb. 20, RPD returned to their home and arrested Hernandez.
RPD said it found a shotgun in her home, but her father, Eufracio Torres, said that his daughter had never touched the gun, and it was kept at a rental property he owned across the street.
Torres bailed his daughter out of jail, but then immigration authorities detained her and took her to the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia.
Both parents contend that their daughter doesn’t have the mental capacity to make a threat.
"She's not right mentally — she doesn't pick up what people say," her mother told The Democrat & Chronicle. "She's very dependent on me."
Hernandez could not have carried out the threat that prosecutors said she has made, according to her parents. They said she was special needs, very dependent on her family, and could not have gotten from home to East High School without their assistance.
But Hernandez confessed to making the threatening posts while being questioned by police on Feb. 15.
Hernandez appeared in court on Monday morning. Afterwards, Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Gregory Colavecchia said the charges would be presented to a grand jury, The Democrat & Chronicle reported.
The judge imposed bail of $100 and ruled that Hernandez would be returned to the Monroe County Jail, where she’d be able to visit with her family and more easily see her public defender, while awaiting the grand jury’s findings.
However, the judge said the family could not bail her out again, or he would turn the woman over to a Federal Detention Center.
Meanwhile, federal authorities have already begun deportation proceedings against Hernandez, whose immigration authorities have on file as “Abigail Hernandez-Arellano.”
Khaalid H. Walls, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told The Democrat & Chronicle that the decision on whether to remove Hernandez from the United States was in the hands of a federal immigration judge.
Hernandez entered the United States from Mexico illegally when she was three years old.
Her parents told The Democrat & Chronicle that they both have green cards, and their two younger children are American citizens. However, they did not obtain legal documents for Abigail Hernandez when they brought her into the country.