Cleve-Hill Student Charged with Making Terrorist Threat | News
CHEEKTOWAGA, NY-- A Cleveland Hill student who thought he was just making a joke has found himself in big trouble with police.
Cheektowaga police say a 14-year-old high school student posted a threat Wednesday night on Twitter towards the school. According to police, he said, "I'm about to bomb Cleve Hill." Police say the boy took the message down three minutes later.
Police say the tweet was seen by at least 100 people on Twitter, including the mother of a fellow student who reported it to police.
"He was sorry, we believe that he was a decent kid and that he didn't have any intentions of harming anybody, but his actions were alarming to people and in this day and age, every threat will be taken seriously," said Captain Jim Speyer of the Cheektowaga police department.
Officers showed up to the teen's home and spoke to the boy and his mother. The teen says he only meant it as a joke and realized it was wrong. Police say the teen's mother was very cooperative and allowed officers to search the home. Officers did not find anything suspicious in the home.
The teen now faces two felony charges. He is charged with falsely filing a report and making a terrorist threat.
"Those are the charges that his actions demanded when you take an action like he did those are the charges that apply," said Speyer.
Because of the terrorist threat charge, the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force were notified.
He is being charged as a juvenile and will have to appear in family court.
Dennis C. Vacco, a former state attorney general says last week's tragedy in Newtown, CT, has made more people uneasy about safety in schools. Vacco said that the message is "very disturbing."
As far as the legal consequences go, state law says teenagers 16 and up can be charged as an adult. However, depending on the severity of the case, someone younger could be charged at a higher degree. Vacco doesn't think this will happen.
"The offense that he's charged with is not one which would be, he would be eligible for, but based upon his age so, this case is staying in family court," he said.
This would give him the chance to avoid jail time. Police say they believe this is the first time that the boy has been in trouble with the law. If he was charged as an adult, he could get a maximum of seven years in jail.
Legal experts say this can be a lesson to anyone to watch what you say.