Laura Williams, Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
COMMENT ABOUT GUNS BY STUDENT, 13, PROMPTS LATEST FELONY ARREST
A 13-year-old male student was charged late Tuesday with making false statements about guns and disrupting class – becoming the 18th student charged by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in cases of school threats since the Feb. 14 shootings in Parkland.
The latest defendant was arrested Tuesday afternoon at Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in Enterprise.
The teen reportedly made a statement about a gun being in someone’s backpack in class and when questioned, he made the gesture of a firearm and moved his finger, pretending to pull the trigger. The student then stated, “What are you going to do, arrest me?” He was immediately put on school suspension and the incident was reported to the school’s principal.
A sheriff’s deputy came to the school at 4:31 p.m. Tuesday and after investigating, he charged the teen with making a false report concerning use of a firearm, (Florida Statute 790.164) a felony, and disrupting a school function, (877.13) a misdemeanor. The student was arrested and transported to the VCSO’s District 4 office for processing. A charging affidavit was sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice, which declined to accept the student for incarceration and instead provided information for a court appearance today.
An investigative cost affidavit was submitted by the deputy, following Volusia County Mike Chitwood’s warning last week that defendants or their families will be held responsible for paying the cost of the Sheriff’s Office’s response to their cases. That cost has been determined to be at least $1,082. But the actual cost could be much higher, depending on the resources required in each individual case.
Despite repeated warnings, 18 students have been arrested for making school threats since the Feb. 14 school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office continues to show zero tolerance for threats and jokes about shootings, bombings and other acts of violence. Anyone who continues to make such statements will face criminal charges. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about the seriousness of making false reports at school or on social media.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151