Among the hundreds of teens threatening violence towards their schools over the last few weeks with five of those threats happening in Utah, one teen from southern Utah actually attempted to set off a bomb at a high school.
While many of the threats around the state and nation have been dismissed as teens wanting their spot in the limelight, one teen in southern Utah didn’t take to social media to gain attention from his peers by making a public threat-he carried out an unexpected attack that luckily didn’t work. The juvenile that hasn’t been named due to his age placed a backpack containing a homemade bomb and shrapnel in a busy lunchroom at Pine View High School in St. George. Fortunately for the possibly hundreds of students in the lunchroom at the time, the bomb malfunctioned. Another student noticed smoke coming from the bag and notified a teacher and school resource officer who removed the bomb and evacuated the school.
Utah Code 76-10-402 states “A person who . . . intentionally or knowingly manufactures, possesses, sells, delivers, displays, uses, attempts to use, solicits the use of, or conspires to use a weapon of mass destruction or a delivery system for a weapon of mass destruction . . . is guilty of a first degree felony.” Due to the seriousness of the charges, the teen could face adult charges for attempting to bomb a school. He is also facing charges for vandalizing another Utah school and putting up an ISIS flag as it was determined during the investigation that he was likewise responsible for that.
Mental health for youth
There is little information about the boy who attempted to bomb Pine View High School but from those that knew him, this act of terrorism came as a complete surprise. Assumptions are being made that the teen suffered from mental illnesses and along with criminal charges, many hope he receives the psychological help he needs.
Multiple attention-seeking teens (who ironically will go unnamed on the news as they are minors) have taken to social media over the last couple weeks, threatening violence at their schools.
Threatening violence at school
While the world is still reeling from the deadly shooting at a high school in Florida, a handful of teens in Utah have chosen to make jokes, gain attention from peers, or make classmates fearful by threatening violence at their own schools throughout the Beehive State. Although none of the threats have been determined to be real, teens that voice, text, post or snap messages threatening violence at school can face criminal charges. The penalties for threatening violence at school can vary depending on the specifics of the threat.
Threat of violence
If a teen makes a threat to another person or group, they could be charged with making a threat of violence. Utah Code 76-5-107 explains that if a teen makes a threat of violence “with intent to place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or death” or is “accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence”, they could face a class B misdemeanor. Teens should know that they don’t have to plainly make a threat; even implying that there is a threat of violence to another is a crime.
Threat of terrorism
If a teen makes a threat of violence and their actions “cause an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies to take action due to the person’s conduct posing a serious and substantial risk to the general public “, they may also face a class B misdemeanor according to Utah Code 76-5-107.3 which deals with terrorist threats. If the teen’s threats involve a real or hoax weapon of mass destruction such as a bomb or “any item or instrumentality that is designed or intended to cause widespread death or serious bodily injury to multiple victims” as detailed in section 76-10-401, their charges could be increased to a second degree felony.
Be known for good
At an age where teens are trying to make their mark on the world and be remembered as an individual, they should also be warned that threatening violence at school is not a healthy way to obtain the limelight. Long after the dust settles on their threat, they may still have blemishes on their juvenile or adult criminal record that can trouble them long after high school is over.
Utah teens are being warned of the consequences that may occur from throwing items off overpasses after four Ohio teens facing murder charges made national news.
The four teens whose ages range from 13 to 15 years are facing murder charges after they tosses several items including sandbags from a freeway overpass, killing a passing motorist. The young teens who are not being named due to their young ages could face lengthy prison sentences if convicted. This isn’t the first times teens have unwisely chosen to drop or throw items from overpasses. In October, a group of teens from Michigan were charged with murder after they threw rocks from an overpass, killing a man. In November, a Utah teen was almost seriously injured when someone tossed a bag full of leaves from an overpass, smashing her vehicle window.
Intent or mistake
Teen don’t always have a good rap about making wise choices, especially when surrounded by their peers. Many wonder if the teens involved with throwing items from the overpass did so with malicious intent or if they just made a horrible mistake, not realizing the possible gravity in their choice (no pun intended). Did they expect the items to merely land in the road or bounce of the cars or were they actually out to do as much a damage as possible to both vehicle and human life? Regardless of what their goal was or their understanding on what could happen, the life of the victim was taken and the teens lives will be forever changed as well.
Wrong place to be
Besides the possible murder charges that could occur, teens who make the mistake of throwing items from overpasses could face charges such as of criminal mischief, damage to property, attempted assault, and conspiracy to commit murder. Parents are encouraged to warn teens about the dangers from playing dangerous pranks and remind their older kids that even their presence on an overpass is against the law (Utah Code 41-6a-1401)
A Utah teen was released with no charges filed after an investigation into threats of violence he made online.
Report of planned school shooting
A male student at Emery High School in Utah used the social media app Snapchat to make threats of violence towards other classmates at his school. After seeing a Snapchat post that the teen was going to shoot other students, someone alerted police to the threat. The male teen responsible for the frightening post was detained while police investigated the alleged threat.
Taking threats seriously
There is no explanation as to why the teen made the threats toward his peers, however police determined the danger to not be credible. Police interviewed friends of the teen as well as those who may have seen the post on Snapchat. In a case like this, investigators likely searched the teen’s locker, phone, computer and home. Through the investigation however, there was no evidence that the teen actually planned on carrying out the attack. It was likely he said it in frustration or anger.
Threats of violence
According to Utah Code 76-5-107, A person may face class B misdemeanor charges for committing a “threat of violence if:
(a) The person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and acts with intent to place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or death; or
(b) The person makes a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force of violence, to do bodily injury to another.”
Although the teen made a verbal or written threat of violence, he didn’t act towards the threat at all and was released without charges. The teen didn’t escape unscathed however. He is facing serious backlash from his peers as well as the community. It is important to teach children the criminal as well as social consequences that can occur from making threats of violence towards others. Teens who end up facing charges are encouraged to seek legal counsel with their parents or guardians.
A teen who made a plan to kidnap and rob his old roommate in Utah is now sitting in the Salt Lake County Jail charged with multiple offenses including first-degree felony charges.
Robbery and a beating
18 year old Eduardo Michael Miranda-Carmona who the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office list as being a citizen of Mexico got together with a few friends and planned a robbery of someone who used to be his roommate. The roommate was jumped while leaving work, stabbed, tied up, and thrown into the back of a vehicle. There Miranda-Carmona and friends robbed the man at gunpoint, used his credit cards illegally, and dumped him to be found by a Utah policeman on patrol.
First, Second, and Third-degree felonies
The man who was robbed knew Miranda-Carmona as the two were old coworkers and roommates. This, along with security footage likely helped detectives to quickly identify and arrest Miranda-Carmona. He is currently in the Salt Lake County Jail with multiple felony and misdemeanor charges including:
• First-degree aggravated robbery with a weapon (76-6-302);
• First-degree aggravated kidnapping (76-5-302);
• Second-degree aggravated assault resulting in bodily injury (76-5-103);
• Third-degree unlawful acquisition or possession of a finance card (76-6-506.3); as well as
• Contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a class B misdemeanor.
Three other teens involved
Over the next few weeks, police were able to identify and arrest 19 year old John Ewing as well as two under age juveniles in the aggravated robbery case. With multiple felony offenses including two first degree felony charges, all four teens are looking at several years to life in prison for what appears to be a vindictive and maybe financially motivated crime, coordinated by one.