A Garden City teenager arraigned Thursday on charges of making a terroristic threat to assassinate his school’s principal and eat the flesh off his fellow classmates, had discussed eating people before, Examiner.com has learned.
Nassau County police detectives arrested 18-year-old Joshua Barley at the Rosemary Kennedy BOCES Center in Wantagh on Wednesday morning. Police reported that a witness, later identified as a school aide, told the principal that Barley was seen writing on a chalkboard that he wanted to “assassinate the principal and take over the school.” The principal then called police.
During his arraignment Thursday morning on a sole felony count, prosecutors dropped the bombshell that Barley’s plan included eating his fellow students flesh. In his statements to police, Barley said that he thought what he wrote was funny. “It was a joke. I like the principal, but I did it because of the sub. I would never eat flesh,” he said in court documents.
A few days after Thanksgiving, Barley wrote that he thought about eating people on his Facebook timeline. “if we had to eat people do you think they would taste like their ethnic backround. are mexicans spicy? are you hungry for chinese people 30mins l8r? black people? taste like chicken! white people? you dont eat white people thats the joke,” a post read. As friends reacted to his writing, Barley responded by saying “lol, just a thought.”
Prosecutors detailed Barley’s history of disturbing behavior during the arraignment and said he had recently transferred to the Rosemary Kennedy Center after being kicked out of Carey High School, where he was accused of stalking a fellow classmate.
Friends of Barley also turned to social media, sparking a small campaign to “Free Josh Barley.” In a comment on News12 Long Island’s website, a friend identified only as Thomas, said Barley is “a little different than others.” He said Barley had stayed at his home and even lived with him. “…never once did he try to harm me and if we did get into a fight he would feel upset and apologize,” he wrote. Adding, “…he has a good heart.” That same friend is now selling t-shirts which picture Barley’s face and say, “Free Josh Barley.” He did not respond to a request for additional comment.
However, Judge Sharon Gianelli said she saw an escalating violent pattern of behavior at home, school and the Internet when she ordered him remanded to the Nassau County Jail, without bail. Barley is back in court Friday, as he continues to face the felony charge.
In a statement on the arrest, Nassau County BOCES officials said “We have robust procedures for incidents of these kinds and we followed them exactly.” They said those procedures included coordinating with the Nassau County Police Department.
Barley remains in custody and could not be reached for comment.