COCOA, Florida — A Merritt Island teenager faces a felony charge for allegedly making a false bomb threat to a school in Cocoa, Florida.
Police say that the threat, made via Snapchat, warned followers not to go to Space Coast Christian Academy on Monday because they were going to “blow the place up” before 11 a.m. The message quickly reached school administrators who contacted police.
Police say that the 15-year-old was arrested late Monday after detectives learned the message originated from his home.
Just after 7:30 a.m. on Monday, the school was shut down and students were forced to go to another location until the scene could be cleared safe to return.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office deployed two bomb sniffing dogs to search the campus which is a part of Bethel Baptist Church on Michigan Avenue. No devices were located and the students were allowed to return.
Detectives determined the teen created a fake Snapchat account using a fictitious name to send the threatening message to his real account. The teen then sent a screen capture of the message to a female friend and a family member who then sent the message to the school leaders.
“We take these types of cases very seriously,” said Chief Mike Cantaloupe. “These kids need to understand the far reaching consequences of their actions. There are significant resources put into play to deal with these situations; resources that are needed for other potential emergencies.
Under Florida Statutes, making a false bomb threat is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum 15-years prison if the case is handled in the adult court. But Because the student is a juvenile, the case will be handled in the juvenile justice system with different penalties. The teen was turned over to juvenile authorities where he will be given a court date.