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Published: Tuesday, 12/18/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Monroe student arrested for threatening school

BLADE STAFF

MONROE -- A student at Monroe's alternative high school has been arrested for making threats on Facebook and Twitter.

The 17-year-old, who attends Orchard Center High School, is to be charged with making a false report or threat of terrorism, said Joseph Costello, Jr., Monroe County chief assistant prosecutor. If convicted, he could face a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

The boy -- who is an adult in Michigan "for criminal charging purposes," Mr. Costello said -- was held in the county jail after his arrest Monday. His name was not released pending an appearance as early as Wednesday in district court.

School officials contacted the prosecutor's office Monday after receiving reports from Orchard Center students about a classmate's online posts in which he said "that he was going to burn down the school and made reference to the Connecticut shooting indicating that he could do worse than that," Mr. Costello said.

The prosecutor's office suggested the district have the student arrested and lodged in jail pending authorization of a warrant. The charge, a felony, applies to those who have threatened to commit an act of terrorism and communicated that act to another person. Terrorism, Mr. Costello said, is defined as an act that would be a violent felony; an act the person knows would be dangerous to human life, and that could intimidate or coerce the public or influence the conduct of government through intimidation.

"The mere threat of it got [school officials'] attention and our attention as well," Mr. Costello said. "In light of what happened in Connecticut, we're not taking anything for granted."

The student had not been charged by late this afternoon.

Orchard Center High is operated by Monroe and Mason Consolidated schools.



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