Mesa police arrest 2 teens for posting threats against schools
PHOENIX – Two teenagers in Mesa were arrested this week, suspected of posting separate online threats against their schools, authorities said Friday.
Mesa Police said the unrelated threats were were made by a 13-year-old girl who attends Liberty Arts Academy and a 14-year-old boy who goes to Westwood High. Both threats were made Thursday.
The teens were each charged with interfering with an educational facility, a class 6 felony, which can carry a one-year prison sentence.
The girl’s Instagram account had a photo of a weapon and stated an intention to “shoot up the school,” Mesa Police said in a social media post of its own.
Some of the students who had seen the note told school staff; staff alerted police.
Campus was locked down for 20 minutes, Principal Brady Wald said.
#thinkbeforeyoupost. 2 school incidents at 2 different schools in Mesa yesterday. Both related to social media posts. 13 and 14 arrested for their posts. These posts are not a joke to everyone else. #thinkbeforeyoupost @MesaPD @mpsaz
— Mesa Police Dept. (@MesaPD) September 14, 2018
The boy was accused of sending a Snapchat post that said, “I have a surprise for everyone tomorrow.” That post came after a threatening note was found written on a wall in a boys’ bathroom. The scrawl read, “Friday, be ready for a lockdown.”
The school’s resource officer was told of both messages.
The girl eventually told police that she had been dared by friends to post the note. Officers said she didn’t have any weapons and didn’t have a way to get one.
The boy, who was found at home, said the post was joke. Police determined that he also didn’t have weapons or a reasonable way to get one.
His parents also had called police to tell police he had made the threat.
The boy also was charged with disorderly conduct and threatening and intimidating.
KTAR.com’s Jessica Suerth contributed to this report.