A Utah teen is in custody following a prank call incident that sparked the lockdown and removal of kids at three northern Utah schools.
The 13-year-old was arrested and may face charges for making a terrorist threat, a third degree felony, by placing a prank call about a gunman at school. Dozens of police officers in Davis County were on the scene as North Davis Junior High was placed on lockdown and searched. Once law enforcement determined that there was no gunman on the premises, they turned to look for the person(s) responsible.
Based on tips from several students, the 13-year-old was identified as the one who made the phone call. No one was physically injured at the junior high or the other two schools, a high school and an elementary.
Threat of Terrorism
A person may be guilty of threat of terrorism if he threatens to commit certain types of offenses involving the use of a weapon of mass destruction or a hoax weapon of mass destruction. He may also be guilty of the same crime if he acts with intent to:
• intimidate or coerce civilians
• influence or affect government
• prevent or interrupt people in a public building
• begin an emergency service crisis
Someone who does any of the above cannot use the defense that he couldn’t or wouldn’t carry out the threat. Additionally, a person who makes threats like these is liable for the monetary damages/costs incurred during the event.
Prank Calls Can Be Trouble
Making a prank call today can be very serious, particularly when the police become involved. We don’t know what led this young man—if he was the one—to make the phone call, but the best way to help him is to make sure he has a good Utah juvenile defense attorney on his side.
If your child is facing legal charges, don’t wait to talk to an attorney. Kids need legal assistance just as much as adults.