Monday, June 30, 2008

911 hoax by student causes huge police response

A 911 call that warned of four gunmen at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Florida in February led to a campus lockdown and a massive police response. But it turned out to be a hoax by a ninth-grader who said he was mad at a teacher. The 14-year-old boy, who confessed to making the call from a cellphone at the school, was charged with a felony.

Dozens of police officers responded after the single emergency call citing the gunmen. More than 2,000 students huddled in classrooms with the lights out and doors locked. Worried relatives waited beyond the school gates.

After a search of every room on the campus came up clean, the lockdown was lifted and regular school functions resumed.

With the help of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, police tracked the 911 call to the student's cellphone and arrested him at the school.

At Delray Beach police headquarters, authorities said the teenager admitted placing the call and was charged with a felony of false reports concerning planting a bomb, explosive or weapon of mass destruction in a state-owned property. The boy also was charged with making false reports of commissions of crimes, a misdemeanor. "He certainly did not take this seriously," police spokesman Jeff Messer said. "He thought it was funny."

Police were going to bill the student's family for the cost of their response. (info from The South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

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