Arson suspect linked to threatening emails will continue to be held without bail

An arraignment was held Wednesday morning for the suspect who allegedly set a number of arson fires and drafted emails outlining plans to harm staff members and students at University High School.

Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, who entered a plea of not guilty on the arson charges, was ordered to be held without bail by a judge at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. (The Orange County Register has more here.)

IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker and Uni Principal John Pehrson addressed the court’s ruling and the district’s ongoing security efforts in a letter that was later emailed to the Uni staff and community. Here’s an excerpt:

Suffice to say, we are pleased to learn that the lone suspect in this serious criminal investigation will remain behind bars pending resolution of his case, and we would certainly like to thank the Irvine Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office for their ongoing efforts to keep our community safe. We also would like to express our faith in the legal system to render a just and appropriate verdict. At the same time, it should be noted that our efforts to promote vigilance will not exclusively revolve around a single suspect.

Our district has worked closely with IPD and other agencies over the years to strengthen security procedures and refine each school’s emergency response plans. In light of recent events, members of our administrative team are further collaborating with representatives from multiple agencies to discuss new strategies for bolstering security at University High School and elsewhere throughout the district.

Some of these security enhancements may be visible when students and staff return from their summer recess; others will not. But each measure will be thoughtfully and strategically employed in concert with the Irvine Police Department, which is firmly committed to maintaining safe schools.

Over the course of four decades, the Irvine Unified School District has earned a reputation for world-class instruction and first-rate educational opportunities. Yet it should go without saying that the safety of students and staff is our No. 1 priority. With your support, we can – and will – continue to provide safe learning environments for the students of Irvine and secure workplaces for our dedicated employees.