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.
The Juab School District recently made the decision to cancel after-school activities following the discovery of a bomb threat written on a bathroom stall in one of the district’s elementary schools.
School Activities Cancelled
The bomb threat indicated that a bomb would go off at one of the local schools the following day, but police and school authorities were able to identify the student whom they believe wrote the bomb threat and made sure there was in fact no device set to detonate.
Most kids who threaten to blow up something or hurt people don’t actually plan to carry out their activity. However, you only need to see the news to realize that it’s important to follow-up on any threats–whether made by a kid or an adult.
Threat of Violence is a Crime–Even if You Don’t Go Through With It
There is a Utah law called “threat of violence” which can be charged if a person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death or substantial property damage and acts with the intent to place a person in fear of injury, death, etc.
Threat of violence is a class B misdemeanor, and it is not a defense that the individual making the threat didn’t intend to carry out their threat or was incapable of carrying out their threat. In addition to incarceration penalties, a person who commits this crime may also be required to pay for any expenses incurred by a governmental entity involved in the threat.
Hire Expert Legal Help
Talk to your kids. Having a good relationship with your children won’t prevent them from committing offenses, but might help. If your child has already gotten himself into legal trouble, don’t wait to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Get him the expert legal help he needs today.