A student who is believed to have pledged allegiance to ISIS has been arrested for allegedly bringing a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ onto the campus of a high school.
The St. George Police Police Department said it has charged the adolescent for the manufacture, possession, sale, use or attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, with more charges possibly to come for criminal mischief.
St. George authorities also said that they believe the juvenile suspect is responsible for desecrating an American flag flying at Hurricane High School and replacing it with an ISIS flag in mid February.
At the time of the incident, the Hurricane City Police Department believed that the juvenile did not pose a danger to himself or others.
‘We do not believe there is a danger to students or teachers at the school,’ Hurricane City Police officer Ken Thompson said in a statement.
The underage individual is also accused of vandalizing the exterior of Hurricane High School with graffiti that reads: ‘ISIS IS COMI’.
‘Hurricane Police Department has a full time School Resource Officer on site and additional officers will be present to ensure students and faculty feel safe,’ he added.
The identity of the arrested suspect remains unknown because they are below the age of 18.
On March 5, students were ordered to evacuate Pine View High School while police were called in to investigate a possible bomb threat.
Police Capt. Mike Giles told reporters at a press conference that the incident started around noon after a student spotted a ‘suspicious’ backpack with smoke billowing out of it in the cafeteria, according to stgeorgeutah.com.
‘That student found a teacher and reported the observations to the teacher who then contacted the school resource officer that was on duty in the school,’ Giles said.
The resource officer immediately enacted protocols that led to the immediate evacuation of the school and taken to the school’s football field as the St. George bomb squad moved in.
Giles said that ‘as soon as they realized they were dealing with a larger issue with the potential for injury or damage, the decision was made to contact the principal of the school and the SRO supervisor coordinated an evacuation of the school with the principal.’
Pine View High student Jack Whalen claimed that he and his friends were among the first to spot the smoking backpack.
‘One of my friends actually went and notified the police at our school; and as he was notifying, one of the teachers walked by and I stopped this teacher and said there was a backpack that had smoke coming out of it,’ he said.
‘By the end of (lunch), when fourth period had started, then they evacuated us – which kind of worried me because it took them the entire lunch period to evacuate all the students for something dangerous in the building,’ he added.
Giles confirmed that the backpack contained materials ‘that had the potential to injure persons or damage property.’
Steve Dunham, a spokesman for the Washington County School District, said approximately 1,100 students attend Pine View High School.
‘The students were evacuated to the field, we began communication out to the parents and coordinating release time for that,’ Dunham said.
‘The first responders have been phenomenal. We had a number of officers here helping to get the students away safely. We just adjusted the bus pickups, the parental pickups and releasing what cars we could out of the parking lots.’
No injuries or property damage were reported following the incident at Pine View, stgeorgeutah.com reported.
Source: Daily Mail