Potentially Threatening Message Prank Spreads

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Putnam County FL: Beginning on Friday February 10, 2017, three potentially threatening messages were discovered to have been written upon walls of three separate Putnam County Schools. The first message was discovered on a bathroom wall at Palatka High on Friday February 10, 2017. A similar message was found at Interlachen High School on Monday February 13, 2017.

On Tuesday February 14, 2017, a third message was discovered on a wall at C. H. Price Middle School in Interlachen. That message was very similar to the ones found at Palatka and Interlachen High Schools. An investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office and Putnam County School District identified a 12-year-old male student as being responsible for the C. H. Price message and the suspect was arrested and charged with making written threats to do bodily harm. The student was booked into the Putnam County Jail and later released to a guardian by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

On Wednesday February 15, 2017, another (fourth) message was discovered at C. H. Price Middle School in Interlachen. An investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office and Putnam County School District identified a 14-year-old male student as being responsible for that message and the suspect was also arrested and charged with making written threats to do bodily harm. He was booked into the Putnam County Jail and later released to a parent by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

As previously reported, there has been no indication to suggest any of these messages have been anything more than pranks which mirror similar hoaxes taking place in several jurisdictions across the State of Florida. However, for the time being, Sheriff’s Office and School District officials will continue to operate under heightened school safety protocols out of an abundance of caution.

Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes detectives are still actively pursuing leads in the cases at Palatka and Interlachen High Schools.

PCSO

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