Suspect accused of football game threat enters guilty plea
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man who used Facebook to threaten a shooting at Ohio State University and vowed to hurt players on the football team and then-head coach Urban Meyer pleaded guilty Wednesday, authorities said.
An indictment unsealed late last year in federal court in Columbus accused Daniel Rippy of making the “electronic communication” threat from California during the game between Ohio State and the University of Michigan in 2018. The game was played in Columbus that year, and Ohio State won 62-39.
Rippy threatened a shooting at the school, saying in a Facebook message to the university, “I’m seriously going to hurt the students and all of the players from the football team,” according to a statement of facts filed Wednesday with the plea agreement.
In separate messages, Rippy also threatened “to injure or kill specific players, their family members and the head coach,” the document said.
Rippy previously entered a not guilty plea before Judge Algenon Marbley, who ordered him to remain in detention.
“Graphic threats of violence against anyone, but especially threats during high-profile events, are taken seriously and will be prosecuted,” said David DeVillers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
Rippy faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing, which has not been scheduled.
Rippy “understands and accepts” the terms of the plea agreement, his federal public defender, Soumyajit Dutta, said in a signed statement as part of Wednesday’s plea agreement.
Rippy was arrested Dec. 28 in Livermore, California, released on bond, but then failed to report to the court’s Pretrial Services division as required. Rippy also didn’t report to a halfway house as required, court documents said.
He was rearrested in January and ordered sent to Ohio.