A 17-year-old was arrested after he admitted to making more than 100 bomb threats to schools and other locations nationwide, Lake County Sheriff's Office reported.
The Lake County Sheriff's Office reported that on March 2 it joined Painesville police in the investigation of several bomb threat calls taken by Central Dispatch. The threats were directed at Harvey High School, which led to an evacuation . There were more bomb threats that followed that were handled by Central Dispatch over the following week, directed at Harvey High and Riverside High School.
Police said the investigation revealed the threats were made by a 17-year-old from Painesville Township. He conducted the threats using the internet and was able to attempt to conceal his identity and location.
The juvenile admitted to police that he had placed more than 100 bomb threats or 'swatting calls,' also known as falsely reporting a serious threat or situation to police in an attempt to elicit a SWAT team response, to schools and other locations across the country, as well as in Canada.
The boy pled guilty to 11 charges related to the 'swatting' incidents, according to police. Four of the charges related to bomb threats forced schools to be evacuated in Painesville, Strongsville, Fort Myers, Fla., and Naugatuck, Conn. There were additional charges related to the 'swatting' of private residences in Plymouth, Mass. and South Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. The charges included:
- Inducing Panic
- Making False Alarms
- Telecommunications Harassment
- Discharging a Firearm
On Dec. 2, the boy was sentenced to five years at the Ohio Department of Youth Services confinement or until his 21st birthday. The court also ordered a 13-year prison term with the Ohio Department of Corrections. He was classified as a Serious Youthful Offender on six of the counts.
Police posted the below report to Facebook:
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