Two Euclid High School students to be charged for hoax phone call
EUCLID, Ohio – Euclid police said two juvenile students have been arrested and are facing charges including inducing panic for a hoax phone call reporting an active shooter at Euclid High School Monday morning.
“Euclid High School. We’re getting shot up, help us please,” an anonymous caller told a dispatcher during a call to 911 around 8 a.m.
Head of Campus Janis Svoboda said the school was placed on a modified lockdown in which students were cleared from hallways and bathrooms. Police swept the building and determined there was no shooter, and the call was a hoax.
A district spokesperson said there was also a bomb threat at Central Middle School Monday afternoon, and police K-9s swept the building before officers determined it was safe.
“Although it’s always frightening to get those calls, we follow our procedures and do what we need to do to keep everyone safe,” Svoboda said.
Though not involved in the Euclid case, the FBI often investigates this sort of threat, which can tie up law enforcement resources.
“Until we investigate it, we don’t know it’s a hoax, so we throw all of the resources in there just like it’s the real thing,” said FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson.
She said the culprits can face felony state charges including inducing panic or federal charges including making threatening interstate communications, which can lead to serious prison time.
“You’ve tied up our resources; we’re not able to do other investigations that we need to at the time because we’re investigating something that’s not even real,” she said.
No one was charged for the hoax call reporting an active shooter at Medina Hospital in November, which led to more than 150 members of law enforcement inundating the hospital. Police said the 911 call originated in India.
Two teenagers were charged through the juvenile court system for making bomb threats that closed Orange High School for three days in 2011.
A 21-year-old Pennsylvania man was indicted on federal charges for threatening to shoot students at Parma Senior High school last year.
“It is something the FBI , the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our local law enforcement take seriously,” Anderson said.