LENOX — A town man is facing multiple charges, including threatening to commit murder, for allegedly texting threatening messages to students at Curry College in Milton, according to local police.
Sean Baruch, 19, of Golden Hill Road in Lenox Dale, was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Sunday by Lenox Officers Sean Ward and John Willey after local police were alerted by campus police indicating that Baruch, a suspended student, had texted six students with vulgar and threatening messages, said Police Chief Stephen O'Brien.
The messages were accompanied by a photo of Baruch holding a black handgun, he said.
Some of the texts were graphic in nature, according to the police report. There was also an Instagram post in which Baruch boasted "this is my AR-15. This is my school shooter rap."
The gun he held appeared in the photo to be a toy weapon.
Campus police provided the text messages, "which indicated that he was on his way to the college, possibly to shoot two of the six students," O'Brien said. "The students who received the text messages reported them to their campus police and to the Milton police department."
The six students were "scared enough to give statements to both police agencies, saying they feared it was true that this individual was on his way to inflict harm on them," the chief added. "Two of the students received specific threatening messages that read: `I'm coming to kill you.' "
After the Milton police and Curry College police relayed the information to Lenox Police, Ward and Willey secured the suspect's home, assisted by Lee Police and members of the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force assigned to the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office.
The officers found Baruch asleep on the couch, O'Brien said, and made the arrest.
Ward and Willey secured a search warrant for Baruch's home and seized a black air handgun matching the description of the gun in the photo sent to the two students, O'Brien said. Additional evidence was recovered to provide solid information about the origin of the texts.
"This was a fine piece of policing by all the officers and investigators involved," O'Brien said.
Baruch initially told police he had not sent the texts and that students at the college were out to "get him" because he had begun a physical relationship with some of their girlfriends.
The students had hacked into his various social media accounts to frame him, he told police.
Baruch pleaded not guilty in Southern Berkshire District Court on Monday to two counts of threatening to commit murder, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and resisting arrest.
Judge Jacklyn Connly set bail at $5,000, which was quickly posted by Baruch's family, and set a pretrial conference for May 25.
Curry, a private, four-year liberal arts college with about 4,250 students enrolled. The campus is about 7 miles from downtown Boston.
Reach correspondent Clarence Fanto at email@example.com or 413-637-2551.
Eagle staff writer Derek Gentile contributed to this report.