A 9-year-old boy from upstate New York has been charged with making a terrorist threat after he allegedly warned of violence in a phone call to his school over winter break.
Authorities were dispatched Monday morning to Maple Hill Elementary School in Middletown when school officials discovered a message left on the school’s answering system the day after Christmas, threatening to harm students when they returned for class on Jan. 4.
A subsequent investigation led authorities to the boy, who was arrested later in the afternoon and charged with making a terroristic threat and aggravated harassment, Hudson Valley News Service reported.
That suspect was identified only as a 9-year-old from Middletown. He has since been released into the custody of a guardian and is expected to appear next week at Orange County Family Court.
“The police conducted a thorough investigation of the incident, made a threat assessment and determined there was no need for a lockdown of the school, or any further action for the District to take to ensure the safety of students and staff,” the school said in a statement.
Middletown Schools Superintendent Ken Eastwood declined to comment further when reached by reporters.
New York state law allows for authorities to file terroristic threat charges if a person is suspected of attempting to intimidate or coerce others with a specified offense “and thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of such offense.”