Home Detention Ordered For Teen Accused Of Threatening School
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A South Florida teenager arrested for threatening an attack on his school did not appear in court Wednesday afternoon as expected. Instead, a judge ordered the teen to home detention and scheduled another hearing in January.
The 16-year-old, which CBSMiami.com is not identifying at this time due to his age, reportedly threatened on Twitter to shoot up his school on Friday, which would be one week after the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
He attended Miami Lakes Educational Center.
Tuesday, the teen said he “apologizes to all the people who lost their kids (in Newtown, CT.).” He said “It’s obviously been dealt with in my situation. I’ve learned my lesson and I hope everyone else can learn there.”
During a hearing in juvenile court Tuesday, he was released from custody and ordered to stay away from the school. When asked for an explanation at his home after he was released, the student said it was a misunderstanding that was blown way out of proportion.
“Like I said, I want kids and I can feel for them and I can understand,” he said. “I apologize to all the people who lost their kids [in Newtown, CT]. I didn’t mean it in that sense, as in, I didn’t really care about the kids. I meant that I didn’t care about the topic. Point is, anything could have happened and anyone could have come in and shot up the school. I just want them to take more precautions.”
“It wasn’t a threat to you guys. It was a statement in general, multiple statements that I made. I just want people to understand it’s a serious thing and it shouldn’t be made fun of and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
The teen’s mother said she did not want to comment but wanted her son to offer the apology.
The teen’s Twitter account features a photo of the infamous Columbine High shooting in Colorado.
According to the arrest report, the 16-year-old advised students that he intended his Twitter followers, school faculty, students and teachers to see the tweets.
Miami-Dade Police spokesman Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said it was not clear if the student intended to carry out his threat or if he had access to a weapon.
Police said that no weapons were found at his home in Miami Gardens.
The teen’s next hearing is on January 3rd. It’s possible a plea will be entered on that date.
On Wednesday, Juvenile Court Judge Angelica Zayas found probable cause to proceed with this case.
“I am finding probable cause based on the stipulation of the parties,” said Zayas. Both the teen’s Assistant Public Defender and the Assistant State Attorney in this case agreed. Neither the teen nor his parents were court as the teen’s appearance was waived for the hearing.