Area Youth Arrested Following Serious “School Prank”

On Thursday, October 29, Saanich Police Detectives arrested a 15 year old male student relating to a post that was placed on a social media site.

In the late evening hours of October 28, Saanich Police were contacted by several witnesses that had observed a post that had been added to a popular social media site. The social media group site had not been authorized by a local high school, but was operating under the school name. The group site has since been removed by the administrators of the social media site.

“It is alleged that the 15 year old student took a picture of a weapon and posted the photograph, along with a caption, warning other students not to attend school the following day” Sgt. Steve Eassie said. “Due to the possibility of an ongoing court process, I am unable to provide further details about the post itself as it will form part of the evidence in the case”.

As a result of the notification, a coordinated police response took place that involved significant police resources. School officials from School District 61 were also notified of the information and worked in collaboration with Police to ensure the safety and well-being of students at the area high school in question.

During the course of the investigation, officers were posted at the school, both on the exterior of the school, as well as inside, to deter someone from carrying through on what was perceived to be a threat, and to be in a position to respond immediately if a threat was deemed to be imminent.

Investigators were successful in identifying a 15 year old male student as a possible suspect. Information to support an arrest was obtained and the student was taken into custody without incident at his home.

“A considerable amount of Police resources were committed to this investigation and we are pleased that our investigators were successful in identifying and locating the suspect in this case” Saanich Police Detective Inspector Terry Parker said. “In cases such as this, where there is a perceived threat towards a public institution, every necessary resource will be used to bring the suspects to justice and to ensure the safety of the public”.

The 15 year old suspect was released from custody with several conditions including not to possess any weapon and refraining from using any social media site.

Charges of Mischief Under $5000 have been recommended and the information from the investigation has been forwarded to Crown for charge approval.

“Investigators have indicated that the suspect never intended to harm anyone, and that the post was simply meant as a ‘joke'” Sgt. Eassie said. “Anyone using social media needs to recognize that they could face criminal sanctions if common sense is not followed”.

File 2015-24092

Sgt. Steve Eassie #158

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