SPANISH FORT, AL (WALA) –
Spanish Fort Police have arrested another high school student for making a terroristic threat. It happened Thursday morning, March 23, 2017 after police were notified by a student that a threat to the school had been posted on social media. This came just three days after two other students there were arrested for the same thing.
Spanish Fort Police Chief, David Edgar said it was almost exactly the same type of threat. Once again, it was a picture of a student…in this case, a 15 year-old girl holding a handgun with a caption warning students not to come to school. Also in this case, the gun was not an actual firearm, but a BB gun.
Edgar said the School Resource Officer got a call from a student at 7:40 a.m. alerting police to the threat. That officer called for assistance, quickly identified the suspect and took her into custody on campus before eight o’clock. She was arrested without incident and no gun was found on her. After the student’s guardian was contacted, police were able to produce the gun and that’s when they were able to identify it as a BB gun.
The suspect was taken to the Baldwin County Juvenile Detention Center where she’s now being held until her court appearance. Edgar said this kind of activity is no joke and won’t be tolerated.
“We investigate every case like this. You don’t know if it’s a prank or if it’s serious until you’ve done the investigation so you have to take each one serious,” explained Edgar. “You can’t just blow them off and say it’s just a prank and let it go. In this particular case, I think the student thought it was a joke amongst friends, but that’s not the way we take it. That’s not the way it’s received and we take it seriously.”
Authorities from the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office, the Baldwin County Board of Education, the city of Spanish Fort and the Juvenile Detention Center were notified immediately and a school-wide assembly was hastily called with representatives from all of them present. The student body was told what a serious offense making a terroristic threat is and what the consequences can be. District Attorney, Bob Wilters said he tried to make his message clear.
“When something’s in juvenile court, it’s not open to the public so a lot of times things get out to the children, to the kids that’s not true. It doesn’t show how serious these crimes are and the disruption that can be caused by these types of crimes so what I was trying to do was impress upon them how serious we’re taking this and how serious it can be to them,” Wilters said.
Wilters said he also told the students that if this kind of activity continues to happen, he’ll consider petitioning for the statute that addresses this kind of terroristic threat in the juvenile system to be re-worded, making it easier to bring teens up on adult charges.
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