A man threatened to kill all white people as well as go to a school to slay children before Gretna police arrested him this week, authorities said.
Jacob Watson, 22, faces two counts of terrorizing in connection with incidents on Tuesday and Sept. 8, Gretna police said in a statement Wednesday.
According to police, a man officers learned was Watson approached a woman watching her grandchildren play in Bellevue City Park in the 700 block of Gretna Boulevard on Tuesday.
Watson, of Gretna, allegedly said he would kill all white people and then go to "the school" to kill children there.
After police were notified of the threats, they canvassed the neighborhood, searching wooded areas behind nearby Gretna Middle School and Shirley Johnston Gretna Park Elementary School, police said.
About 8:10 p.m. Tuesday, officers said they stopped Watson at the corner of Huey P. Long Avenue and the Westbank Expressway because he fit the description of the man accused of making the threats.
He was brought to Gretna police headquarters for questioning. There, with the help of social media, investigators learned of a second incident four days earlier in which Watson allegedly mentioned killing white people to get on the news, police said.
Police did not say where the earlier incident occurred. They said people from both incidents identified Watson as the man threatening violence, and he allegedly admitted to the threats in an interview before being jailed.
Watson added that the threats were "a prank to see the expressions on the (victims') face," police said.
Police said Watson has a history of drug, burglary, theft and battery charges. He was on probation until 2019 for a burglary conviction, and earlier this year he had completed a stretch of probation related to a separate break-in case, police said.
Authorities describe Watson as a white man himself both in their news release about the case and in Jefferson Parish jail records. A mug shot of a man identified as Watson accompanied the news release as well.
Watson's bail on the terrorizing counts was set at $100,000.
Louisiana law defines terrorizing as "the intentional communication of information that the commission of a crime of violence is imminent ... with the intent of causing members of the general public to be in sustained fear for their safety.'
The crime carries up to 15 years in prison.
Editor's note: This post was updated to include a mug shot of Watson.