General Crime

* Larry Bantola arrested for allegedly sending threatening messages to several elementary schools throughout Contra Costa County charged

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An Antioch man who was arrested Friday on suspicion of sending threatening messages to several elementary schools throughout Contra Costa County was charged today with 14 felony counts, a police lieutenant said.

Larry Bantola, 36, faces seven counts of making criminal threats and seven counts of impersonating another. He was arrested Friday at his home in Antioch for allegedly sending a slew of threatening letters, faxes and e-mails to elementary schools in Martinez, Pleasant Hill and Concord over the past month, Lt. Jon Sylvia said. The threats disturbed the daily operations of the schools involved and took up school resources, he said.

Police said Bantola signed the letters with the name of a former friend whom he was angry with to tarnish the friend’s reputation. That friend is cooperating with investigators, police said. Bantola is being held in county jail on $350,000 bail and is set to be arraigned Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Walnut Creek Superior Court.

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