SAN DIEGO–A British man who had made threats to La Jolla Country Day School in February has pleaded guilty in the United Kingdom to three counts of harassment and one count of violating a restraining order in connection with a bomb threat to the school by phone and harassing emails he sent in February of this year. Sentencing in Britain is set for September 1.
William John Cooper, 39, is also charged by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office with making a bomb threat and phone harassment. San Diego Unified Schools Chief Rueben Littlejohn and his team worked cooperatively with the San Diego DA’s Office and officials in the UK to investigate the threats. A warrant was issued for Cooper’s arrest by law enforcement in San Diego County on May 27. Because he carried out his threats while residing in England, officials there are able to charge Cooper and carry out the prosecution for the crimes he committed against individuals in San Diego.
Cooper was arrested by Hampshire Constabulary on June 26 at his home in Southampton, Hampshire, England and authorities seized his computers and phone. He posted bail and is due back in the West Hampshire Remand Court on July 24.
Even though Cooper is being prosecuted in England, he can and will be prosecuted in San Diego County, if he returns to the United States. At this time, there are no plans to extradite Cooper to San Diego unless he is already on U.S. soil.