MORRISON – A 17-year-old boy was charged this week with disorderly conduct in connection with a phony bomb threat that had been written on a piece of toilet paper in a bathroom at Morrison High School in September.
The boy, who was 16 at the time of the threat, was given a notice to appear in juvenile court.
Whiteside County State’s Attorney Trish Joyce filed the charge Thursday, according to a news release Friday by police Chief Brian Melton.
On Sept. 11, the school was evacuated after someone found a note written on toilet paper that said, “This school will blow up,” Melton said.
After police determined that the threat was not legitimate, the boy was determined to be a suspect that same day, Melton said.
The boy told police that he had been bullied into making the phony threat, Melton said, but that could not be confirmed.
Bomb threats also were reported Dec. 3, Nov. 6, and Feb. 21 in 2012, and April 8 and 29 and June 7 last year. Two teen boys were determined to have made some of them, police have said.
The boy was not suspected of making other threats, Melton said, but there is a connection between that threat and at least three or four other threats. He declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.
Melton said he hopes this latest arrest will put an end to the phony bomb threats made at the school.
“The kids think this is funny,” Melton said. “They think they’re going to get out of school, and they don’t understand the seriousness of the crime.”
Melton said the department had worked with the school to educate students on the seriousness of making these kinds of threats. He added that he hopes this arrest and “hopefully a few more arrests” will send a message that such threats will not be tolerated.
Police ask anyone with information about other threats to call Morrison police at 815-772-7659 or Whiteside County Crime Stoppers at 877-625-7867. Callers will remain anonymous.