73.9 F
Winter Haven
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Latest Posts

Haines City Police Respond To Bomb Threat & Arrest 15 Yr Old Student

HAINES CITY, Fla. — This morning at approximately 8:02 AM, the Haines City Police Department (HCPD) was alerted to a bomb threat at Ridge Community High School.  HCPD’s School Resource Officers stationed on campus, were able to immediately respond to determine the validity of the threat; as well as initiate the proper protocols to safeguard the students and faculty. The school was immediately placed on heightened alert, while additional members of the HCPD and members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Davenport Police Department responded to assist.


The threat, sent via email to the principal of Ridge Community High School, indicated bombs had been placed in multiple school buildings on campus. The message prompted a swift evacuation of the school buildings to ensure the safety of students and staff.


While other law enforcement efforts helped to evacuate the school, and search for any possible explosive devices; members of the HCPD Criminal Investigations Division worked with members of the Polk County School Board’s Information Technology Department to identify where the threat came from, and who sent it.  The threat was traced to a school owned laptop, which was issued to a 15-year-old Ridge Community High School student.  Through diligent investigative efforts, Haines City Police detectives were able to determine that this student had illegally used the log-in credentials of another student, to send the threat via email, thereby representing themselves as the innocent student.


The 15-year-old student responsible for this false report and additional crimes, was located, interviewed, and subsequently confessed to sending the threat.  He was promptly arrested, and faces the four felony charges, and one misdemeanor charge listed below:


FSS: 790.163(1) – False Report Concerning Planting a Bomb, an Explosive, or a Weapon of Mass Destruction

FSS: 934.215 – Use of 2-Way Communication Device to Commit Felony

FSS:815.06(3)(A) – Unauthorized Access to Computer and/or Network

FSS: 836.10 – Written or Electronic Threats to Kill

FSS: 877.13 – Disrupting a School Function


After an exhaustive search of the campus by law enforcement, no explosive devices were located, and students were allowed to return to class to resume their day.


Haines City Chief of Police Greg Goreck issued the following statement regarding the incident:


“Today’s reckless threat drew heavily on city resources, diverting our first responders from their duties of protecting and serving other parts of our community. It not only disrupted our children’s education, but also exposed them and our emergency personnel to unnecessary risk. I am immensely proud of the prompt action taken by our officers, the Polk County School Board, the Davenport Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Let this serve as a clear warning: we treat every threat with utmost seriousness, and the consequences for such actions are severe.”


The juvenile has been transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center for processing.


The Haines City Police Department thanks the school administration, PCSB IT department, and all responding public safety agencies for their coordination and professionalism in resolving this incident safely and efficiently. If you or anyone you know has additional information regarding this incident, please contact the HCPD at (863) 421-3636. For those wishing to provide information anonymously, please reach out to Heartland Crime Stoppers at (888) 400-8477.


author avatar
Carl Fish

Latest Posts

- Advertisement -

Don't Miss

- Advertisement -