Arrest made in Erie schools social media threat case

Local News

Multiple law enforcement agencies are on alert as they investigate a threat reported on Sunday evening, targeting three Erie schools.

An arrest has been made in the case. A 15-year-old student from Strong Vincent Middle School will be charged with two counts of Felony Terroristic Threats and one count of Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct. The suspect will be held at the Edmund L. Thomas Juvenile Detention Facility.  

According to police, no bombs or guns were available to the suspect and there was no credible evidence that any steps were taken toward any assault, however the threats caused a “concern in the community and need to be properly addressed.”

The investigation continues as additional social media posts were made which appear to possibly be related.  Police warn anyone else caught making threatening public posts will face criminal charges.

Erie’s Public Schools released a statement regarding the arrest made:

“We are thankful to law enforcement for the thorough investigation of these threats and the timely arrest of the person responsible. Schools are not in session on Tuesday, Nov. 5 due to Election Day. All district schools will be in session as planned on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Thank you to all our district families for your patience and understanding as we work to ensure the safety and security of our district students, staff and faculty.”

Students at Strong Vincent already had the day off, but now the investigation is still ongoing after threats were made on social media.

Erie Police confirming to JET 24/FOX 66 that they are now working with the FBI on this case.

Two posts that were shared on social media sent shock waves throughout the Erie community.

Someone made posts on Snapchat threatening to shoot students and faculty at Erie High School.

“We have been working with law enforcement on that very closely. They continue to investigate. We do have some extra police presence here for an abundance of caution,” said Brian Polito, Superintendent, Erie School District.

Erie School District Superintendent Brian Polito tells us that it was in the best interest to keep schools open, but the administration at R. Benjamin Wiley Community Charter School cancelled school because of the threat.

“Everybody goes through the through of ‘is this a hoax, is this fake, is this just kids trying to get off from school.’ It very well may be, but that is not a reason for us to not take action,” said Allison Renyolds, CEO, R. Benjamin Wiley Community Charter School.

Chief Dan Spizarny of the Erie Police Department confirms they are working with the FBI to find the suspect.

While Erie High School remained open, all schools affected by the threat will have an increased police presence to increase the safety of its students.

Even though Erie Rise Leadership Academy wasn’t targeted, they are still taking precautionary measures.

“We don’t believe that the person involved in this is a student at our school, but we will be pressing charges when it comes down to it once they identify who the person is,” said Renyolds.

All Erie School District Schools will be closed tomorrow for an in-service day.

R. Benjamin Wiley will be closed tomorrow as the investigation is ongoing.

Once school resumes, schools will have an increased police presence for the safety of its students.

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