Arrest made in bomb threatPublished 9:40am Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Officials have arrested a 12-year-old student for allegedly threatening to blow up Ironton Elementary School Tuesday morning.
The suspect is a sixth grader at Ironton Middle School, Ironton Police Chief Jim Carey said.
The boy, who officials did not name because of his age, was arrested around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and taken to a group home. He is charged with tampering with evidence and inducing panic, Carey said.
School officials received the threat around 7:49 a.m. Tuesday. All of the schools were emptied at 11 a.m. following the threat.
“We take every threat seriously and we thought there may be some validity to this one. So we evacuated the school,” Superintendent Dean Nance said.
The school system worked with the Ironton Police Department, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Ironton Fire Department, FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, who also brought in bomb-sniffing dogs, and the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the situation.
No explosives were found.
Carey said AT&T gave officials the phone number that the call originated from. The FBI in Portsmouth was able to trace the number to a cell phone in Louisiana. FBI officials in Louisiana were ultimately able to link the phone to the student, Carey said.
“When someone does that there is the potential to being caught,” the police chief said. Carey commended Nance for making the call to dismiss school early. The school district staff and the law enforcement agencies worked well together to handle the situation, Carey said.
“I was rather impressed,” he said.