By Matthew Saari
State Police arrested a Whitehall elementary student last week and charged him with making a “terroristic threat” against Whitehall High School.
The charge stems from an investigation last Tuesday when Whitehall Elementary School administrators were made aware that the student, whose name was not released due to his age, was “going to ‘shoot up’ the high school with an automatic weapon.”
School superintendent Patrick Dee said the matter was brought to the attention of school administrators by “some students who indicated they were following the school’s ‘If You See Something or Hear Something, Say Something’ policy.”
Dee said elementary school principal Richard Trowbridge corralled the student and took him to the building’s main office, then immediately alerted both the student’s parents and New York State Police, who investigated the matter, deeming it non-credible.
“They did not feel the student had a particular plan in place,” Dee said.
State Police said Monday that although the threat was deemed non-credible, the youth is still being charged with “making a terroristic threat,” which is a felony.
New York Penal Law 490.20 reads: “A person is guilty of making a terroristic threat when with intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping, he or she threatens to commit or cause to be committed a specified offense and thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of such offense.
Because of the offender’s minor status – State Police would not release his actual age – the case has been referred to probationary court and Washington County attorney Roger Wickes.
This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.