Girl charged with making bomb threat

Cary Ashby • Nov 30, 2012 at 9:24 AM

A 15-year-old New London girl has been charged with a felony in connection with emailing a "low-level" bomb threat to New London Local Schools.

The teenager is charged with inducing panic, a fourth-degree felony if committed by an adult. Prosecutors filed the charge Thursday in Huron County Juvenile Court.

The threat came to the school as an email about 11:15 a.m. Nov. 19 and school officials notified the New London Police Department moments later. Court administrator Chris Mushett said the girl is accused of causing the school to be evacuated and a "public inconvenience" when there was a possible threat of people being harmed.

Students were evacuated for almost an hour.

Police Chief Michael Marko, at Monday's village council meeting, said authorities quickly determined it was a "low-level" threat because it was a hoax sent in by a student on a school computer. There are three levels of threats, ranked from low to high.

The email had "bomb threat" in the subject line, Marko said earlier, but the content was "very, very vague."

As the chief and Officer Ryan LaMothe responded to the school, they notified the Huron County Sheriff's Office, state Highway Patrol and Ashland County Bomb Squad for possible back-up. The two officers were the only first-responders on the scene.

"I was 100 percent sure that the school was safe," Marko told council.

While police and several school officials made their rounds in the school, the district computer technician determined "the IP address came from the school" in a classroom and "pinpointed who was on the computer," Marko said. Using that information, police identified the girl, whom officers interviewed at the school for about 30 minutes.

"We asked her why she did it. Her response was, 'Well, my brother did it 20 years ago and only got a 10-day suspension,'" Marko earlier told the Reflector.

The girl has been suspended and may be expelled from school, Marko told council members.

No court hearings had been scheduled as of press time.

"I'm sure it will just be her coming in for the first hearing," Mushett said.

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