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Boy put on probation for making bomb threat

July 02, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

A 17-year-old boy who left a voice message at South Hagerstown High School threatening to bomb the school was allowed to go home on probation Wednesday.

The May 14 bomb threat was left on an answering machine at 2:09 p.m., and did not force administrators to evacuate the school, Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Michelle Flores said. The threat caused administrators to increase security for several days, however.

The boy, who is not being identified because he is charged as a juvenile, admitted Wednesday in a Juvenile Court proceeding to one count of making a verbal threat to explode a destructive device.

Flores told Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, sitting in juvenile court, that the boy had called South High on May 14 to try to reach his girlfriend, who is the mother of his 21/2-month-old daughter.

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A student aide told the boy he couldn't speak with his girlfriend, and the 17-year-old became angry, Flores said.

The boy called the school back several times, Flores said, and finally left a message saying in part, "I'm going to blow the (expletive) school off the (expletive) map .... I will fill the school with TNT."

Hagerstown City Police traced the phone call to the boy's mother's home, Flores said.

Although the boy was already on indefinite probation on a drug possession charge as well as a felony theft charge, both dating to November 2003, Department of Juvenile Services officials said there had been no complaints against the boy since then except for the May 14 phone call.

Beachley said he viewed the incident as a reaction to anger and not an attempt to disrupt the school.

The judge ordered the boy to attend anger management training, to maintain employment, complete his high school equivalency, stay away from all public school property and apologize personally to school staff.

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