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Charly Haley, Forum News Service, Published November 13 2013

Son was joking: University of Jamestown student didn’t mean any harm, father says

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - The father of the 18-year-old whose alleged “satanic” threats led to a campus lockdown at University of Jamestown last week says his son was just joking.

Ronald Flores, who came to Jamestown Friday from his home in California, said his son’s alleged threats were “all a joke. That’s what it comes down to.” He contacted The Jamestown Sun Tuesday to speak on his son’s behalf.

The campus was under lockdown for almost an hour Thursday after student Robert Flores allegedly threatened specific students. The lockdown was lifted after Flores was detained in downtown Jamestown.

The Stutsman County Communications Center call log entry of a 10:45 a.m. call from UJ states, “Robert Flores has threatened other students and himself. Stated he was going to kill three girl students and drink their blood as a satanic ritual. Unknown where male is at this time.”

There are arrest warrants for Flores, who is being evaluated at the North Dakota State Hospital, said Scott Edinger, Jamestown police chief.

“We do have formal complaints of terrorizing,” Edinger said. After Flores’ evaluation at the State Hospital, he will be picked up by Jamestown police, he said.

The incident is still under investigation, Edinger said.

“They don’t understand,” Ronald Flores said Tuesday. “We just kid around. It’s like a punk thing. It’s like a goth thing. It’s just a thing in Los Angeles.”

The Flores’ are from Thousand Oaks, Calif., an outer suburb of Los Angeles.

While in Jamestown, Ronald Flores has been in contact with Jamestown police and UJ officials.

Ronald Flores said his son, who started at UJ to be on the wrestling team, had had conflicts with university faculty and the wrestling coach.

Tena Lawrence, vice president of marketing at UJ, said she was not aware of any tension between Robert Flores and university faculty or the wrestling coach.

Ronald Flores also said his son has been expelled from UJ. Lawrence said she could not confirm that, because of student privacy.

“We definitely did not at any time take the threats lightly,” Lawrence said. “We took the information we were given very seriously.”

The university took actions to ensure its students’ safety, she said.

Ronald Flores said his son’s roommate had misunderstood Robert Flores’ jokes.

“It’s just a big misunderstanding,” Ronald Flores said. “It’s all out of control, and now we just have to wait … It feels like a whole little nightmare.”