CHS Student Arrested for Terroristic Threat, Cops Say
Arrest stemmed from report of hazardous substance two days ago which led to school's evacuation.
A Columbia High School student was arrested Tuesday and will be charged with making a terroristic threat after he allegedly placed an envelope filled with white powder under a dean's office door, said Capt. John M. Perna of the Maplewood Police Department.
The incident led to the school's evacuation on Tuesday.
The student, a 16-year-old boy, was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Youth Aid and Detective Bureau officers after being identified by school administrators, said Perna, who would not comment on how the boy was identified.
Shortly after the dean reported a potential hazardous substance at around 1:30 p.m., the administrators evacuated the school and alerted the police. The incident drew the Maplewood Police Department, the Maplewood Fire Department and the Essex County Hazardous Materials unit to the school.
The case has been referred to the Essex County Juvenile Division, said Perna.
The white powder was determined to be benign, said Perna, who would not identify the substance.
Perna said it was difficult to determine what penalties the boy might face. "It is a very different process from the way adults are processed," said Perna. "The statutes are used initially, but it goes through the juvenile justice system."
Perna would not comment on whether the boy was previously known to police. The boy was released to the custody of his parents, Perna said. He also would not comment on whether the boy was still in school.
Suzanne Turner, the district's Director of Strategic Communications, said the district was unable to comment on the incident because the boy is a juvenile.