9-, 10-year-old accused in bomb threat
Two elementary school children were arrested in connection with a bomb threat at Hancock Creek Elementary School Wednesday after officials say the children brought bomb-making materials to the school in their book bags.
The boys, one 9 and the other 10, each were charged with one count of attempted or threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction or hoax weapon of mass destruction, a second degree felony.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office began investigating after receiving a call from the school on Skyline Boulevard in North Fort Myers at 9:56 a.m. School administrators had begun looking into allegations a student may have brought a knife to school. Further inquiry had revealed two students had brought items in their book bags with the intent to assemble and ignite a makeshift device, officials said, adding no knife was found.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Youth Services Division then began conducting a criminal investigation and a Sheriff’s Office member of the Southwest Florida Regional Bomb Squad was assigned to examine the materials and determine the potential threat.
That investigation revealed both students discussed and documented a plan to make explosive devices and place them at the school, officials said, adding the intent was to cause property damage and possible injury or death to students.
Preliminary examination of the materials brought by the two boys reveals the device was not sophisticated and not likely to cause serious damage to property or death. However, the device did have flammable characteristics which could potentially cause minor damage or injury to others, including the two boys, officials said.
The youths, both from North Fort Myers, were arrested. They were taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center, processed, turned over to officials with the Department of Juvenile Justice and, subsequently, released to their parents.
– Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office