SUGAR LAND - If you’re going to make threats on social media, don’t be surprised if you get arrested. Just ask Clayton Cansler. The 26-year-old Sugar Land resident sent a private message to someone he was following on Facebook, saying, “I’m going to shoot up a mosque. I’m sorry. Doing it for Lisa and everyone I love.”
The recipient, who lives in New Jersey, called his police department who called Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department.
Cansler works for a private company at Sugar Land Regional Airport and that’s where deputies arrested him. “He was arrested and he did admit to sending those messages through Facebook and he was charged with terroristic threats, which is a 3rd degree felony,” says Caitilin Espinosa, Public Information Officer for the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.
Cansler told police he sent the message because he was upset about the recent attacks in Paris and because a close friend died in the 9/11 attacks.
While Cansler’s “not so private message” included a picture of guns and ammo, police didn’t find any weapons during their investigation, but there is a mosque about half a mile from his house.
Shaikh Tauqer Shah is the Imam at Marayam Islamic Center, the mosque near Cansler's home, “It was kind of shocking. We’re being patient and we’re just asking our followers to be vigilant and to be careful as you come to the mosque, take your precautions. If you see anything that’s out of the normal, make sure you immediately report it to the law enforcement.”
Cansler was released from jail early this morning on $10,000 bond.
We tried to get his side of the story but no one answered the door at his home, but we did talk to a couple of friends who don’t think for a moment that Cansler is a terrorist. "Joe" tell us,“I know the guy personally and he’s a good guy, I just think he said something that… you know sometimes young people spout off, but in this day and age with instant social media, you’ve got to really watch out.”
Fortunately, someone was watching out when they reported Cansler’s post.