Police identify 12-year-old as culprit in seven false bomb threats to Montgomery County schools

Jones said the 12-year-old admitted responsibility

Published 10/25/2023 12:29 p.m. EDT, Updated 10/25/2023 1:24 p.m. EDT

Crime scene tape across a street.

A 12-year-old was identified as the culprit after seven recent false bomb threats targeted schools in Montgomery County, according to Police Chief Marcus Jones.

Police said Montgomery Blair High School received bomb threats on Oct. 13, 16, 17, 23 and 24. Additionally, Oak View Elementary School and Silver Spring International Middle School received bomb threats on Oct. 15.

“This reckless and dangerous behavior posed a direct threat to the safety and well-being of our schools and students,” Jones said.

The 12-year-old, who has not been identified because of his age, was identified with the assistance of Montgomery County Public Schools IT staff.

Jones said the 12-year-old admitted responsibility.

In Maryland, children under the age of 13 can only be charged with offenses that constitute a “crime of violence.”

“It is disheartening to accept that the individual responsible for disrupting the educational process and instilling fear in our community was well aware of the legal limitations surrounding their age. They understood that they could not be charged under current Maryland statutes,” Jones said. “In addition to the fear and chaos these threats caused, it is important to acknowledge the significant financial and operational burden each incident placed on our department. Dispatching officers and K-9 units to investigate these threats, especially when our resources are already stretched thin, diverted our personnel away from other pressing calls for service. This diversion of resources is unacceptable, and it jeopardizes the safety of our community.”

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