Former Bolivar, Tenn., police officer Trent Wilbanks will be in Hardeman County court Tuesday to face two charges of felony and misdemeanor harassment after using social media to allegedly threaten students at Bolivar Elementary School.
Wilbanks is in jail on a $50,000 bond.
Hardeman County Sheriff John Doolen was notified about the alleged Facebook and Twitter postings before 7 a.m. Monday. The children were not in any danger and were escorted in the elementary school by sheriff's deputies and Bolivar police officers.
One alleged Facebook post included "you best lock and load boys. I'm coming with a vengeance."
After viewing the handful of Facebook posts by Wilbanks, Sheriff Doolen's immediate plan was to protect the students and hopefully avoid another Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.
"Law enforcement, as far as us, we are big boys, we can take care of ourselves," the sheriff said. "But when you make threats to an elementary school against children now these days don't sell well with people and it don't set well with law enforcement."
Sheriff Doolen says the only priority was the safety of the children. He says the school was never on lockdown, but all of the doors were secured except for the main entrance.
"That point of entry had a deputy on the outside of the door and on the inside of the door," the sheriff said.
Even with officers and deputies in place, it still did not stop many parents from picking up their children early.
The school shootings that go on these days, you know parents are going to take care of their children and I don't blame them for what they do," Sheriff Woolen said.
Deputies arrested Wilbanks at around 12:30 p.m. Monday without incident.
FOX13 News has learned Wilbanks has a child who attends the elementary school and other children at either the city's middle or high schools.
In another Facebook post by Wilbanks, he claimed he was not threatening anyone with bodily harm. Sheriff Doolen said you can't tell people it's no big deal after the fact.
"If you look at that post that was made an hour after he already made the threats, that was just a disclaimer," Sheriff Doolen said. "But he should have put in a disclaimer before he put anything else on (Facebook or Twitter)."
What's still unclear and under investigation is why Wilbanks posted the threats in the first place.
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