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Name: In re Ricky T.
Case #: A090983
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 03/19/2001
Subsequent History: None

The appellate court found insufficient evidence that the minor had committed a terrorist threat under Penal Code section 422. When the minor returned to his classroom, he found the door locked and pounded upon it. His teacher Heathcote opened the door outwardly, and it hit the minor, who became angry and said, “I’m going to get you.” He also told Heathcote, “I’m going to kick your ass.” The minor never made any physical movement or gestures toward Heathcote. Heathcote said he felt physically threatened by appellant and sent him to the school office. The court held that the evidence was insufficient to prove the nature of the threat which must be “so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific [that it] convey…a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat…” The threat must be examined on its face and under the circumstances under which it was made. The threat must be judged in its context, and respondent relied too much on the words spoken. Appellant’s rude, intemperate, and insolent remarks were not accompanied by any show of physical violence, and he was acquitted of interfering with the teacher’s duties. The evidence did not show a gravity of purpose. Moreover, the evidence was also insufficient to show the victim was reasonably in sustained fear for his own safety. “Sustained fear” means more than momentary or fleeting fear, and there is no evidence that Heathcote felt fear beyond the time of the angry utterances.