Highland Park HS Student Arrested in Connection With Threatening Notes

Teen faces 17 counts of terroristic threat

By Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013  |  Updated 6:27 PM CDT
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Police arrested a 16-year-old student for 17 threats that disrupted classes at Highland Park High School this year.

Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News

Police arrested a 16-year-old student for 17 threats that disrupted classes at Highland Park High School this year.

University Park police have arrested a student in connection with a number of threats directed toward the staff and students of Highland Park High School since the beginning of the year.

Officials said they arrested a 16-year-old Highland Park High School student and charged him with 17 counts of terroristic threat.  The incidents, police said Wednesday, were all directed toward the school and staff and that all disrupted classes.

Since the suspect is a juvenile, his name has not been released.

Police said Wednesday that measures undertaken by the suspect to mask the source of electronic messages made the investigation more difficult, but with the assistance of cyber-crime experts they were able to develop leads.

Police said the arrest was the result of the investigation and help from the FBI, not anonymous tips, so no one is eligible to claim the $10,000 reward.

Police said, even with the announcement of the teen's arrest, the investigation into the threats is ongoing.

Incidents Prompt Lock Downs, Dismissals

In January, someone began leaving threatening notes in a boys bathroom at the high school. After three messages were found, the notes stopped for a short while before three more turned up in February.

The incidents then grew more threatening as several .22-caliber bullets were found in a different boys restroom.

With the threats continuing, and with many resulting in lock downs and early dismissals, the FBI and Secret Service soon joined local law enforcement in attempting to find out who was responsible.

The seventh threat, arguably the most brazen of them all, was emailed directly to Crime Stoppers -- a police utility where tipsters can share information with law enforcement anonymously.

In March, officials said if the threats were found to be connected, the person responsible would face felony charges. Meanwhile, a $10,000 reward was offered for information that led to an arrest and conviction in the case.

NBC 5's Omar Villafranca and Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.

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