Police arrest 16-year-old boy suspected of calling in a bomb threat to Westlake High School

Police arrest 16-year-old boy suspected of calling in a bomb threat to Westlake High School

Saratoga Springs Police have arrested a 16-year-old boy they suspect of calling in a bomb threat to Westlake High School earlier this week.

SARATOGA SPRINGS (ABC 4 UTAH) --  We know the identity of the 16-year-old but we are not going to release his name.  


Neighbors described him as a quite boy that stuck to himself for the most part.  He was a former student of Westlake High School. Police have been called out to his home a total of 26 times in the past for a variety of reasons. This last time the FBI was involved.


The teen is being charged with making terrorist threats involving weapons of mass destruction, 911 abuse and threats of violence. There could be more charges pending. Officials are discussing whether this teen should stand as an adult and be tried in federal or state court. He is currently being held at a detention center.


On Tuesday, a bomb threat was called in to Saratoga Springs, New York for Westlake High School. That call was transferred to local police in Saratoga Springs, Utah.

 

The teen asked for a $10 million dollar ransom paid in an off-shore bank account. He made the call on a Skype account.  The caller masked his voice while making a call but then became irate when officers did not understand him. 


Friday, we found out there was more to that call.


"Threats were made against officers against their families, against the students at the school, and staff," said Corporal Matt Schauerhamer of the Saratoga Springs Police Department. 

 

The threats were made on the 16-year-old's Facebook account he created just for this occasion.  

 

"We are all just sitting in our house and we hear this huge bang, get down get down get down. Get on your knees," said neighbor Christian Hess as he watched law enforcement storm the house.

 

Because of Skype's help, the FBI Joint Terrorism Taskforce along with Police tracked down the IP address and arrested the teen.

 

"What if that kid was trying to build it in the house? Just what could he have done to us? It was actually a wake up call," Hess added.


"This suspect we have never dealt with, ever," said the Corporal. "We had no indications of anything in the past and as far as I know, he had no criminal history."

 

That is all going to change. No bombs or bomb making materials were found in the home when police searched it for hours. 


Police say the teen used a method called Swatting. It is when someone uses a VOIP to bounce a call around to get law enforcement to react to a location.

 

"We uncovered through our investigation multi-state incidents," said Corporal Schauerhamer. "Several states around the country from one side of the United States to the other where he has made these similar threats."

 

"We are always so worried ISIS and these terrorist groups across the world but right here at home we have issues we got to worry about, keeping our own families safe. That’s why I think it is really important to get to know your neighbors," said Hess. 

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