A 14-year-old Eugene boy is accused of sending a threat through the Mountain View High School website claiming a former student would blow up a math class at the Bend school on Nov. 3.
The threat, sent Nov. 1, was reported to the Bend Police Department. Over the next two days, Bend Police, including the high school’s resource officer, and an FBI special agent and several detectives worked with Bend-La Pine Schools information technology staff to track down the boy.
The investigating officers discovered the boy, who was not identified, had no connection to the high school and was trying to threaten a former friend’s school, also named Mountain View High School, in another state.
“It was happenstance,” Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh said. “He was not threatening Mountain View. That was not his intent. He thought it was another Mountain View High School.”
Still, he could be charged with a felony computer crime and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Because the suspect is a juvenile and lives out of the county, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said he needs to work with the Deschutes County juvenile department and the juvenile department and District Attorney’s Office in Lane County before filing charges.
“Usually cases are handled by the county where the youth lives, but I haven’t made that decision in this case yet,” Hummel said.
On the morning of Nov. 3, the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team did a sweep of the high school and made sure the school was safe from any suspicious devices.
The investigation continued through Nov. 6.
Officers found the threat was issued through a Tor server, which uses relays on the internet to keep users anonymous, but the school’s IT staff was able to find information that led the FBI investigators to the boy in Eugene.
The FBI investigators went to the boy’s residence in Eugene. During an interview, they found the boy made the threat, according to Bend Police.
It took more than 10 law enforcement officers and multiple Bend-La Pine Schools staffers over multiple days to find the boy.
The Bend Police Department is encouraging parents, teachers and mentors to talk with children about the dangers of such threats.
In October, social media rumors of a planned shooting at Mountain View High School kept about half the student population from attending school Oct. 7. Bend Police investigated the rumors and had an enhanced presence at the school that day.
— Reporter: 541-617-7820, firstname.lastname@example.org