Man arrested for making terroristic threats toward School of Social Work

Emily Hernandez and Lauren Girgis

The UT Police Department arrested a man Thursday for making terroristic threats against the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, according to a campuswide email UTPD sent Thursday night.

The Austin Police Department reported that Matthew Joel Dominguez drove to a psychiatric treatment center requesting help Wednesday, according to the email. He was then transported to Dell Seton Medical Center where he made threats to harm himself and threats to harm people within the School of Social Work, according to the email. 

“When we were alerted to the reports of threats communicated against the School of Social Work and to police, we intervened rapidly,” UTPD said. “We remain focused on identifying situations, rapidly intervening and preventing harm to our community.”

After APD notified UTPD that Dominguez was released from the hospital, the department began patrols around the School of Social Work and searched for him on campus, according to the email. He was found Thursday morning in his Pflugerville residence and arrested for the felony charge of terroristic threat, according to the email. 

Dominguez is currently in Travis County Central Booking with a bond of $100,000, according to the online Travis County Inmate Search.

“UTPD is grateful to have had the opportunity to intervene and prevent potential harm to our community,” the email said. 

Though Dominguez remains in custody, UTPD said they will continue to closely monitor the Social Work buildings, according to the email. The email advised students to call 911 if they notice anything suspicious or feel unsafe.

“He said he would go on a shooting spree at the School of Social Work, and eventually, a cop would have to kill him,” UTPD spokesperson Noelle Newton said. 

Newton said according to the court papers, the doctor at Dell Seton released Dominguez because he did not meet the requirements for a psychiatric commitment.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated since it was originally published to include a statement from a UTPD spokesperson.