Two Teens Arrested for Prank Suicide Call That Caused Panic in Leonardtown - Southern Maryland Headline News

Two Teens Arrested for Prank Suicide Call That Caused Panic in Leonardtown

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Sept 3, 2008, 4:20 p.m.)—Two juvenile males, ages 15 and 16, from California, Md. have been arrested and each charged with one count of telephone misuse and three counts of disrupting school activities after a prank suicide threat disrupted the Leonardtown school campus around noon on Wednesday. The boys are students from Great Mills High School. Police have not released the name of either boy.

This morning at approximately 11:25 a.m. the St. Mary's County Emergency Communication's Center received a 911 call from the Walden Sierra Suicide Hotline. Walden Sierra reported receiving a telephone call from a male who stated he was with a friend who had a gun to his head and wanted to commit suicide. The caller advised they were currently behind Leonardtown High School. The caller then disconnected his conversation with the crisis counselor at Walden Sierra without providing any further information.

Sheriff's deputies and troopers from the Maryland State Police Leonardtown Barrack responded to investigate. Deputies and troopers were also dispatched to Leonardtown High School, Leonardtown Middle School and the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, as a precaution, to ensure the safety of students, staff and faculty. All three schools were placed in a temporary lockdown status as officers, K-9 Deputies and the Maryland State Police helicopter searched the wooded area behind Leonardtown High School.

After an extensive search of the woods and surrounding area nothing was found. At 1:35 p.m. the precautionary school lockdown was lifted and students resumed regularly scheduled classes. Law enforcement officers remained in the area to continue to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. After school activities at the Leonardtown campus were cancelled for the evening.

Detectives from St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) continued with the investigation and identified and arrested the two boys. Police say the boys were not tracked down because of Caller ID.  Cindy Allen, the Sheriff's Public Information Officer, said the arrests were made as a result of "good detective work."

"Information developed and arrests [were] made," said Allen in an emailed response.


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