Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Three students charged in "threatening" Tangi schools Monday

Posted: Monday, February 19, 2018 | Views: 8509

Three students charged in "threatening" Tangi schools Monday
From Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards:

HAMMOND, LA – (February 19, 2018) – Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Edwards in a joint press release with Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Mark Kolwe report the following:

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating “threatening” social media posts that began circulating late last night concerning local area schools. Working in partnership with School Superintendent Mark Kolwe, TPSO detectives and deputies have been on high alert, setting up increased security and precautionary measures throughout the night and all morning.

The TPSO was notified at approximately 10:00 p.m. last night of the potential threat. By morning, detectives identified a juvenile student enrolled in one of our local area schools as a source for sharing the alleged social media threat. The juvenile received the initial post from a 17- year-old family member. The juvenile then shared the post on snapchat. The post that stated, “Don’t go to school Monday. A school shooting is going to happen and they are warning everyone. But the one’s who do show up there are doing an investigation.” The post is believed to have originated from a social media site referencing an incident that was to occur at an out of state school – the post had no merit or bearing on Tangipahoa Parish or its schools. It is estimated that the post was viewed by at least 364 snapchat viewers from three separate snapchat accounts. Consequently, rumors of the post went viral causing fear and panic among our community members resulting in appropriate actions being taken by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Tangipahoa Parish School System.

As with any situation that disrupts the learning environment, there are potential legal and school disciplinary repercussions that may occur. As result one 17-year-old female was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The minor child has been charged with terrorizing.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office has vetted the social media post and found no evidence of a direct threat, assault or other crimes targeted toward our area schools. "We have identified no current or future threat to the safety of citizen or student at this time," Edwards says.

Simultaneously- in a separate incident - with the increased law enforcement presence at one of our local High Schools, deputies intercepted an additional threat that was made by an 18-year-old male student – Troy Webber of Amite, LA- threatening to shoot his fellow students and faculty upon returning to school this morning. This incident was investigated and found to be a creditable threat. Webber was taken into custody and charged with terrorizing.

“It is our job to track down the origin of all alleged threats,” says Edwards. Social media threats are occurring more frequently, and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office will be vigilant in investigating, locating perpetrators and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. “When we receive a report of this nature — no matter the time, day or night — I assure you every resource will be made available.” Edwards says.

Sheriff Edwards and Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Mark Kolwe would like to thank the parents and the public for their cooperation and tips regarding these matters and to our detectives for promptly resolving these incidents. Sheriff Edwards urges parents of the importance of teaching their children to report such matters to law enforcement instead of posting on social media and the severe consequences of their actions.