Stu­dent ar­rested after threat­en­ing post

Pros­e­cu­tor: Teen had no way to carry out threat

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

DEN­TON — Caro­line County of­fi­cials as­sured par­ents Mon­day that Colonel Richard­son High School is in no dan­ger after a stu­dent at the school made a so­cial me­dia post at about 9 p.m. Sun­day night, threat­en­ing to come to the school and shoot stu­dents Mon­day.

The Caro­line County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, along with the Dorch­ester County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and the Mary­land State Po­lice, ar­rested the stu­dent just a few hours after he al­legedly made the threat­en­ing post.

Of­fi­cials were not able to iden­tify the stu­dent be­cause he is a ju­ve­nile, but said he was in the cus­tody of Caro­line County Depart­ment of

Ju­ve­nile Ser vices.

Caro­line County Pub­lic Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Pa­tri­cia Sae­lens met with lo­cal law en­force­ment of­fi­cials Mon­day, and as­sured par­ents the school is safe for stu­dents, and will con­tinue to be a safe place for stu­dents.

“Last night, we re­ceived no­ti­fi­ca­tion that a threat had been made to­wards Colonel Richard­son High School via a so­cial me­dia plat­form,” she said dur­ing Mon­day’s press con­fer­ence. “Mul­ti­ple stu­dents, staff and com­mu­nity mem­bers re­ported the threat to lo­cal law en­force­ment, var­i­ous ad­min­is­tra­tors and the state’s new ‘Safe Schools Mary­land’ tip line. The threat was swiftly in­ves­ti­gated by the Caro­line County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, the Dorch­ester County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and the Mary­land State Po­lice, and the youth is cur­rently in the cus­tody of the Depart­ment of Ju­ve­nile Ser­vices.

“We can as­sure the pub­lic that this mat­ter has been ad­dressed to the fullest ex­tent by lo­cal law en­force­ment,” she said. “Due to the in­volve­ment of a youth, we can­not pro­vide any ad­di­tional de­tails. Lo­cal law en­force­ment con­tin­ues to work with us to en­sure the stu­dents and staff safety, which is our num­ber one pri­or­ity.

“We are deeply ap­pre­cia­tive of the stu­dents, staff and com­mu­nity mem­bers who shared this in­for­ma­tion with us in a timely man­ner, and thank them for fol­low­ing the ‘See Some­thing, Say Some­thing’ pro­to­col,” Sae­lens said.

Caro­line County in­terim State’s At­tor­ney Joe Ri­ley, Caro­line County Sher­iff Randy Bounds, MSP 1st Sgt. Frank Stanco and CCPS As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Mil­ton Nagel joined Sae­lens for Mon­day’s press brief­ing.

“We were able to do an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and find there was no way to carry out the threat that he is al­leged to have made,” Ri­ley said.

Sae­lens said 45 per­cent of Colonel Richard­son High stu­dents and 32 per­cent of Colonel Richard­son Mid­dle School stu­dents did not at­tend Mon­day. The mid­dle school is lo­cated on the same cam­pus as the high school. She said the stu­dents would be given an ex­cused ab­sence for Mon­day.

“We are hope­ful that stu­dents will re­turn back to school to­mor­row,” she said. “With our re­la­tion­ship and part­ner­ship with law en­force­ment, we are sure school is a safe en­vi­ron­ment.”

Bounds said while there was an ex­tra law en­force­ment pres­ence at the high school Mon­day, school re­source of­fi­cers re­main at the school year-round.

He also praised the com­mu­nity for quickly no­ti­fy­ing law en­force­ment of the threat.

“The re­sponse time was al­most im­me­di­ate,” he said. “As soon as it was posted, our phones started ring­ing, and po­lice of­fi­cers were on the road im­me­di­ately. The school re­source of­fi­cer from that par­tic­u­lar fa­cil­ity was ac­ti­vated im­me­di­ately. We ended up with an ar­rest in ap­prox­i­mately two and a half to three hours.

“We are very happy about the re­sponse we re­ceived, both on so­cial me­dia and through the new tip sys­tem in Mary­land,” he said. “We did re­ceive tips through that. It worked as it was de­signed. We want to thank the pub­lic, both adults and chil­dren, for get­ting that word to us as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

To re­port a school threat, call 1-833-632-7233 or visit Mary­land Cen­ter for School Safety at www.safeschools md.org.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

From left, Mary­land State Po­lice 1st Sgt. Frank Stanco, Caro­line County Sher­iff Randy Bounds, Caro­line County Pub­lic Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Pa­tri­cia Sae­lens. Caro­line County in­terim State’s At­tor­ney Joe Ri­ley and CCPS As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Mil­ton Nagel meet to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about the stu­dent ar­rested for mak­ing an on­line threat against Colonel Richard­son High School.

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