Sunset Ridge student, 13, arrested for reportedly threatening ‘the destruction of school building’
Local authorities arrested on Friday a Sunset Ridge School student who allegedly threatened online to destroy a school building, according to information from the Northfield Police Department.
The 13-year-old was charged with two counts of felony disorderly conduct—threat of school violence after a month-long investigation involving the Northfield PD, FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The child was transported to Cook County’s temporary juvenile detention center awaiting a “preliminary conference,” according to Northfield police.
The student has not been allowed to attend the middle school, with an enrollment of about 300, since the investigation began in mid-May, said district Superintendent Dr. Ed Stange in an email to The Record.
According to Stange, Northfield-based Sunset Ridge District 29 received a tip on May 17 that a student used a proxy server to bypass the district’s firewall and “immediately contacted law enforcement.”
Stange was unaware of any specifics of the student’s online activity; however, the FBI reportedly notified the Northfield Police Department on Friday, June 10, that the activity involved a threat of “the destruction of a school building.” Police apprehended the student the same day.
Northfield Police Sgt. Thomas Hanus would not comment further on the details of the online activity or the investigation, but said in an email that there was not an imminent threat to district 29.
“The Northfield Police Department has taken all of the preventative and precautionary measures in working with the Sunset Ridge School District #29 to ensure the safety of its schools,” Hanus wrote. ” … If there was an imminent threat, immediate action would be taken to thwart any such attack.”
The department continues to work with the FBI and Homeland Security to “monitor any suspicious activity,” he said.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319