WATERVILLE — Police said late Friday that five instances of terrorizing by high school students were reported this week in Waterville, including one in which a student allegedly said he wanted to “pull a Sandy Hook,” in reference to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when a 20-year-old man fatally shot 20 children between 6 and 7 years old, along with six adult staff members.

Four teenage boys were charged with terrorizing and charges are pending against a fifth, Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said. The terrorizing charges are considered misdemeanor crimes, punishable by up to a year in jail, and not felonies, because no buildings were evacuated as a result of the threats, he said.

“We’re going to aggressively investigate every one of these types of complaints,” Massey said by phone Friday afternoon. “And when we can, we’re going to hold those responsible who post threatening messages on social media sites or make threatening comments while in school and hold them accountable.

“I don’t think that after the investigating officers interviewed those five kids that anyone’s in danger from these kids at this time.”

Massey said the first incident unfolded on Wednesday when Waterville police investigated three separate reports of threatening by Waterville Senior High School students — all boys. Two more were reported on Friday.

On Wednesday at about 12:30 p.m., a high school employee was given a social media post by a 17-year-old boy.

“The posting said he wanted to shoot up an elementary school and pull a Sandy Hook,” Massey said. “It was on Snapchat.”

Police were called to the school where the boy was interviewed and ultimately charged. Massey said the posting actually happened in October and was not discovered and reported to police until this week.

No weapons were found on the boy at the time and the student was released to a parent.

The second incident was reported while police were still dealing with the first one, Massey said. He said the Waterville communications center received a call reporting that a 15-year-old had left his home in Waterville after threatening to go back to the high school and “slash an administrator” with whom the boy had had an issue earlier in the day.

The boy was intercepted on his way back to the school and was detained. He did not have a knife on him at the time, but police located a knife that he allegedly had initially taken from his home. He was charged with terrorizing.

The third incident Wednesday involved a 16-year-old male student who was overheard telling other students that he would use a shotgun for a school shooting because “it had a larger spread,” and other concerning comments, Massey said. It was reported and the school called police.

That student was interviewed and taken into protective custody and is being evaluated. Charges are pending against that boy.

On Friday at about 9:30 a.m., another male Waterville High School student, while attending an assembly, was overheard saying that with changes in the scheduling of assemblies on Friday, the school resource officer, Cameron Huggins, would be busy with the assembly and it would be easy to shoot Huggins and then commit a school shooting, Massey said.

“We sent an officer out to interview that student and he has also been charged with terrorizing, a Class D crime, and he was released to the custody of his mother,” according to Massey.

Also on Friday, police received information that a male student on Thursday had sent a Facebook message to someone, saying: “There are so many dumb-ass people in the (expletive) school I literally want to walk up to all those dumb asses and shoot them, stab them and strangle them,” Massey said. He also was charged with terrorizing.

“Is it the recent shooting that has been reported on the news media over the week or so?” Massey said. “I really don’t know why we’ve had so many of these in such a short period of time. I can’t attribute it to any one thing. I think, obviously, social media allows young people to express themselves in a private setting. And sometimes we know when we’re not actually talking to other people; sometimes we put things on social media sites we wish we hadn’t.

“We need to take these things seriously. We work closely with the school and I think that’s the key.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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