Boy admits to bomb hoaxes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Boy admits to bomb hoaxes

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February 3, 2003

Lee County-- A 14 year old student at the Transitional Learning Center told police over the weekend that he called in three bomb threats to three different schools on Friday.

Apparently the boy did not act alone. Another student in Lee County e-mailed him at home that morning from a school computer, daring the boy to call in the threats. Police say all ten bomb threats this year have been pranks, and police want it to stop.

Thousands of Lee County students are evacuated after multiple bomb threats on Friday. Leesburg police, the sheriff's department, fire and EMS teams, the K-9 unit from the Marine Base and off-duty officers are called in to help-- all for a prank.

"I know its an inconvenience, but I'd rather be safe than sorry," says Leesburg Police Chief Charles Moore. It's a precaution that Chief Moore says they have to take.

But now there's talk about making the pranksters pay. "I'm going to see based on man hours how much money it cost taxpayers, and make the kids do a lot of community service, maybe they will get the point," the chief said.

So far, it's a point that's been missed. Lee County schools have had more bomb threats this year than ever before.

"We had one last year. This is the first time I've seen that many," said Moore. All but one of the bomb threats this year have been solved-- each one made by a student-- each one done on a dare.

But, other than those similar characteristics, there is no other obvious relationship between the threats. "No it's not and that's what is strange about it. Different kids doing it and most the kids talked to done it on a dare that other kids asked them to do it," Chief Moore said.

What started as a silly dare is a serious felony, and all the pranksters are facing criminal charges. The 14-year-old boy has been charged with calling a false alarm, disruption of a public school and making terroristic threats.

The second suspect has not yet been charged for his part in Friday's bomb threat.

posted at 5:05PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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