Teenager arrested for social media threats: Students encouraged to go to school

Nikki Blankenship
Scioto County Candor

A teenager has been arrested for making threats to several area schools. Portsmouth Police Department (PPD) responded to social media threats directed at several local school districts by saying officers will still be present in the schools and students should go on to class.
“Area law enforcement agencies worked throughout the night in a collective effort to identify and apprehend the source of the social media threats made toward multiple Scioto county and Pike county schools,” the PPD announced this morning. “The Portsmouth Police Department will be present in our school districts this morning to confirm our commitment to giving staffs, parents, and students peace of mind that they can go to school. We are very appreciative of the many agencies, community members, and school officials that helped in the investigation. To the students in the affected school districts and other districts that have become alarmed, we say, ‘Go forth and learn!’”
Though they encouraged students to try to focus on their education, the police department says they are still taking this matter very seriously.
“We are aware of the social media posts circulating about threats of violence in area schools,” PPD commented. “We are working diligently with law enforcement partners as well as working with school systems to ensure that staff members, students, and parents will feel safe at school tomorrow morning. Continue to alert us when you see suspicious or threatening posts. For those who think it’s funny to create fear, we are quite sure our judges will see it a bit differently.”
Scioto County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release this morning stating that they had several calls from parents concerned about sending their children to school today after screenshots of a posts sent under the name Brie Savage circulated across social media. The posts threatened shootings at several schools including New Boston, Portsmouth, Clay, West and Waverly.
Capt. John Murphy explained that the sheriff’s office has been working on the case with Portsmouth Police, New Boston Police and Pike County Sheriff’s Office since 7 p.m. last night.
According to the release, they have tracked the SnapChat that the posts originated from to an address on US 23 in Portsmouth.
“After a further investigation that resulted in the search of a 15-year-old female’s cell phone, she was arrested and charged with five counts of inducing panic, a felony of the fifth degree,” the release stated.
The female was given a count for each school district threatened. She was also charged with one count of making a terroristic threat, a third degree felony.
During the investigation, two teenagers were detained for questioning, the release stated. One 16-year-old male was also arrested for escape for running away from a foster home, but is not suspected of being involved in the social media posts.
Sheriff Marty Donini credited the quick arrest to the cooperation of several law enforcement agencies and the community. The matter is still under further investigation and other charges may develop.

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