California man sent to prison for threatening Ohio State football team during 2018 Michigan game

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A California man was sentenced to prison Tuesday for making violent threats toward Ohio State students and football players during its 2018 game against Michigan.

Daniel Lee Rippy, 29, of Livermore, California, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for making an interstate threat.

Daniel Lee Rippy

Court documents show that Rippy sent a message over Facebook threatening a shooting at Ohio State and vowing to hurt football players. He sent several other threats during the game — which was being played at Ohio Stadium —to injure or kill players, their family members and the coach.

“In the middle of Ohio State’s annual rival game with the University of Michigan and with more than 100,000 fans in the stadium, law enforcement suddenly had a potential threat of a shooting,” U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said. “Because of Rippy, law enforcement officials at the stadium were placed on high alert and re-allocated resources to investigate the threat.”

The Buckeyes, under coach Urban Meyer and featuring such star players as quarterback Dwayne Haskins and defensive end Chase Young, easily defeated the Wolverines 62-39 that year.

Rippy’s prior connections to Michigan initially concerned law enforcement given the ease with which Rippy could travel to — or perhaps be at — the game. Officials ultimately determined that Rippy was in California and did not pose an immediate danger.

Chris Hoffman, special agent in charge for the FBI in Cincinnati, said the threats were investigated by the joint terrorism task force and other law enforcement.

Rippy pleaded guilty in July to one count of making a threat in interstate communications.

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