19-year-old Breandan Mantz, a Hilbert College freshman, has been released from jail Friday after posting bail. He was accused of threatening other students and charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing. In an exclusive interview with News 4, his mother says this has been a misunderstanding.
“It’s been scary. My autistic child is in jail,” said Trevia Mantz, Breandan’s mother.
As Trevia Mantz waits for her son Breandan Mantz to be released from jail Friday, she says it’s been tough for Breandan, who has autism, to make friends. He’s a freshman at Hilbert College.
“Breandan is very blunt. Breandan has a hard time with social situations which is typical for a person with autism,” said Mantz.
Breandan made bail Friday evening after being arrested on campus earlier this week. He’s been accused of making threats to other students.
“I don’t like hurting people and I don’t like scaring people,” said Breandan Mantz.
Hilbert College says there were reports of a student on campus with a weapon Sunday.
“When they said he had a weapon, he actually was at home in Newark with us. He wasn’t even at the school. He wasn’t even on campus,” said Trevia Mantz.
But still Breandan was arrested Wednesday after he had been questioned by campus safety officers a few days ago. He’s charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing.
Hamburg police say the weapon is a martial arts throwing star.
“They’re not even real. They’re just ornaments, so the fact that they thought it was a weapon was shocking to me in fact I thought I could have it because I got it at McKinley mall,” said Breandan.
In court Friday, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says Breandan had a hit list.
“He allegedly told another student that he had a list of people that he was out to get,” said John Flynn, Erie County district attorney.
Both Breandan and his mom say that’s not true.
“It’s been a rumor started by a group of people that are angry with Breandan. So, they use these rumors to bully him, they call him a terrorist,” said Trevia.
“Please know I’m not a violent person. I’m not a threat,” said Breandan.
A judge ordered a mental health evaluation for Breandan. His mother and Hilbert College say he was evaluated by Erie County Crisis Services after the reports Sunday.
It’s not clear if Hilbert College would allow Mantz back to school, but both he and his mother say he won’t be going back to Hilbert.