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What constitutes a terroristic threat? ABC-7 investigates after El Paso judges declines to charge alleged gunman

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- An El Paso judge declined to charge a man accused of carrying a gun towards a crowd outside a Cincinnati Entertainment District bar.

Andres Lodoza was detained by police Saturday night after FBI agents saw him get into a fight with another person at the Champagne Villain bar, get out a gun from his car, load it, then allegedly walk towards a group of people. Officers with the El Paso Police Department and agents with the FBI intervened before Lodoza could get to the group.

Now ABC-7 is looking into why Judge Priddy chose not to charge Lodoza.

In Texas, a terroristic threat is defined as putting someone in imminent fear of bodily harm or death.

El Paso Police tell ABC-7 that a good example of a terroristic threat is one person walking up to another person carrying a gun and threatening to shoot them. The department declined to comment on the incident involving Lodoza specifically, citing an ongoing investigation.

A department spokesperson told ABC-7 that if a person walks into a group of people with a rifle, that does not constitute a terroristic threat, as open carry is legal in Texas without a license. The spokesperson clarified, however, that if the person displays aggressive behavior or has an altered mental state, for example, those factors have the potential to escalate the situation, possibly making the person's actions a terroristic threat.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso

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Jason McNabb

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist & GMEP Weekends co-anchor


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