Teen in custody in alleged threat against Blissfield School
A teenage suspect is in custody at the Maurice Spear Campus in Adrian just hours after parents in the Blissfield School district were alerted about a threat to the school today (Feb. 11, 2015).
According to Blissfield Police Chief Dale Greenleaf, a full confession was obtained from the suspect who was not named. He said it did not appear that the youth had the means to carry out the alleged threat nor that anyone else was involved.
Police were called in around 7 a.m. when Interim Superintendent David Pray read the email, and parents of students in Blissfield Public Schools were alerted mid-morning by Pray of a threatening email regarding Blissfield High School. High security mode had already been put in place by that time.
“I was sent an email (not a phone call or fax) in which I was told ‘a threat(en)ing email was posted anonymously on the After School App regarding Blissfield High School’,” Pray wrote.
Later, he told The Advance, that embedded in a lengthy post on After School App was allegedly a threat to kill students “tomorrow” which would have been Wednesday, Feb. 11. The post was apparently made on Tuesday, Feb. 10. The app company flagged it because of the nature of the post and alerted him to the allegedly threatening language contained in the post.
The suspect was detained before school was dismissed for the day.
Greenleaf, at the time the alert went to parents, issued a press release that until the threat was disproven, it would continue to be treated as credible.
“A joint investigation between the Blissfield Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been initiated,” Greenleaf said in the release prior to the arrest. “At this time, there is no evidence to support a credible threat, however until the investigation has disproven the threat, we will continue to treat the threat as credible.”
Greenleaf said he had received contact early this morning from Pray of the email and that the school and police department had immediately implemented protocols designed to respond to incidents of this nature.
“The safety of our schools is of paramount importance to the Village of Blissfield,” Greenleaf said, “We take any threat very seriously and ask that anyone with information regarding this threat, or any threat, contact the Blissfield Police Department at (517) 486-4340 or Crimestoppers at (517) 266-6161 or (877) 276-8477.
Pray echoed the chief regarding the credibility of the threat prior to the apprehension of the suspect.
“At this time, there is no evidence this is a credible threat, but until we can rule this out completely, we will continue to treat this as a credible threat,” he said.
“Further investigation has found that the company which sent the email ‘After School App’ is an application which Apple has chosen to remove from their sales because of numerous unwarranted threats in other areas of the state and nation,” Pray wrote in a message to the Blissfield Community School District.
To be proactive and as a precautionary measure, Pray said, the village police, Michigan State Police and Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department provided extra patrols on the school campus. In addition, he continued, office staff took extra precautions to assure the safety of students and staff of the Blissfield District.
Greenleaf said the app company had been cooperative in the investigation, which is still ongoing.
“The investigation will continue until we are satisfied that no other persons were involved in the preparation or transmission of this threat,” Greenleaf said in a news release after the suspect was lodged at Maurice Spear Campus, Adrian.