Atherton police are investigating an emailed death threat they say a former Atherton resident now living in Florida allegedly sent to one of the department's officers last week.
Sgt. Alfredo Guarducci said a May 27 email to an Atherton officer threatened to "kill you in front of your friends" if the officer did not carry out a request of the emailer.
The Florida resident who allegedly sent the email, which police said appears to be from a private account and includes the sender's name, is a former resident of Atherton in his 30s who has relatives living in Atherton, Sgt. Guarducci said.
He said officers are working with police in the man's Florida hometown and are seeking an arrest warrant. He said the FBI investigated an earlier incident in which the man allegedly threatened a Florida public official.
The man is also alleged to have, at least twice in the past, threatened other Atherton residents either via email or social media, Sgt. Guarducci said.
He said police are taking the death threat seriously. "To me, any time you threaten an officer, that's serious," Sgt. Guarducci said. "He has a way to get here."
Sgt. Guarducci said the incident began with an email sent to the Atherton police department containing "some ridiculous demands." He said an officer responded that he could not help because the person sending the email had not made a report.
The person then sent another email claiming his mother had been murdered. "We obviously went out and verified mom is not dead," Sgt. Guarducci said. "She just threw up her hands and said she doesn't know what to do with him anymore."
The death threat then followed, Sgt. Guarducci said.
Police must take such a threat seriously, Sgt. Guarducci said, because they have no way of knowing the intent of the person making the threat.