Two teens arrested for bomb threats against East Ascension HS
Gonzales, LA (FOX44) — Two teenagers are in jail for trying to cause mayhem at East Ascension High School. They both made bomb threats against the school, just a short time apart from each other.
They both used twitter to make their threats against the school. That got the message out quickly among fellow students, but also led to their arrests.
"If [teens] do something of significant or sensational nature, they want their peer group to know about it," Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said.
A bomb threat is a quick way for a teenager to get the attention of a whole high school. A 16-year-old boy posted on Twitter Monday morning that a bomb would go off at East Ascension during lunchtime. The Gonzalez Police Department used those tweets to track the teen down and arrest him.
Soon after, an East Ascension student found another tweet from a different teen, a 15-year-old at APPLe Digital Academy, with a copycat bomb threat. The student told a teacher, launching another investigation.
"And he even went down to the extent of identifying what class that the bomb was in," Wiley noted.
Sheriff's deputies went to the school, interviewed the teen, and he confessed. They are now both in the Youth Detention Center.
"Which I hope that every one of the parents and citizens here would agree, that's where they need to be," Wiley stated.
As juveniles, they can remain in jail for up to 72 hours before they have a hearing in front of a judge, who decides whether or not they remain behind bars.
"We're going to help him made that decision, hopefully," Wiley said.
Bomb threats are usually anonymous, but the nature of Twitter exposed the two suspects quickly. Threat investigations, "are kind of some of the hardest ones to do," Wiley stated. "We just got kind of lucky with kids who... nowadays, the phenomenon, they want to tell everybody what's going on, and they want to brag about it. It's almost a badge of honor that they are instigators."
The 15-year-old did not hide the fact that he made the threat or his reason why.
"Just a lark, just idle time," Wiley claimed, "just being a blight on society, just being a pain in the rear."
But a bomb threat, especially against a school, is no joke.
"We don't know," if it is a hoax or a crisis, Wiley mentioned. "And the public better expect us to take it serious. We start not taking it serious, and something happens, the worst happens, and a whole lot of people are asking us and the school system, 'why did you minimize it, why did you not respond like you did?"
East Ascension remained open during both investigations.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Ascension Parish School board said "It is important to note that no one was ever in danger and that East Ascension High School continues to be a safe place for students and employees."