A 12-year-old Englewood boy was arrested on 11 felony counts of sending written threats to kill.
The boy, a student at L.A. Ainger Middle School, pretended to be an acquaintance of his, and sent texts threatening to “kill everyone” at L.A. Ainger Middle School in Charlotte County and Moody Elementary School in Manatee County, police say.
The boy’s father told Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies in September that his son received inappropriate text messages from a person they knew, and deputies interviewed the alleged suspect.
The next day, inappropriate messages, illicit photos propositioning sex and threats to kill people at schools were sent in a group chat to the 12-year-old and members of his family, and the texter identified himself as the alleged suspect that the 12-year-old’s father reported to CCSO the day prior.
While CCSO deputies took the boy’s phone to search it, he went to his bedroom to get his laptop and show deputies emails showing more threats in which the sender said he was going to kill everyone at L.A. Ainger Middle School.
When CCSO deputies went back to the home of the person that the boy’s family thought to be the suspect, the suspect and parents said they had no knowledge of text messages and they have not spoken to the boy’s family in over three years.
Deputies took possession of the boy’s laptop, iPod Touch and Samsung Tablet, and found searches for the locations of the two schools that were mentioned in the threats.
Deputies made sure that there were no firearms in the boy’s home, they said.
As CCSO deputies investigated the case, pornographic messages were being sent to school employees from different phone numbers through an app called TEXTNOW.
Through the investigation, CCSO deputies from the Computer Crimes unit found pornographic images on the boy’s electronic devices that matched the photographs that were sent to the boy and his family.
Subpoenas for TEXTNOW for information including the IP address showed that the threatening and inappropriate messages were being sent from the boy’s home, police say. During the times messages were sent, the father was at work and the 12-year-old was at home alone.
“Threats made to schools are taken extremely serious and are investigated thoroughly to make certain the students of Charlotte County are safe,” CCSO said in a statement. “These threats have serious penalties.”
He was arrested Friday and booked into the Charlotte County Jail, then moved to a juvenile justice facility.