Boy, 12, arrested after threatening messages discovered at Putnam County school

Numerous Putnam County schools perating under heightened security procedures

By Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. - A 12-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday after an investigation into a threatening message on a wall at C. H. Price Middle School in Interlachen.

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office said the investigation revealed the student wrote the message as a prank, and had no means to carry out the treat, but he was arrested and charged with making written threats to do bodily harm, which is a second-degree felony.

Tuesday's investigation follows two other threatening messages made at Putnam County schools.

The Sheriff's Office said a threatening message was found written on a bathroom wall at Palatka High School on Friday and a similar message was found at Interlachen High School on Monday.

Officials said even though there was no evidence to suggest either threat was more than a prank, the Sheriff's Office and school district officials enacted heightened school safety protocols out of an abundance of caution. Officials are actively pursuing leads in both cases.

The Sheriff's Office said they will continue operating under heightened security procedures for the time being.

The 12-year-old boy who was arrested Tuesday was booked into the Putnam County Jail and later released to a guardian by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

“It is extremely disappointing that this series of events has resulted in the arrest of a 12-year-old student, but the Sheriff’s Office will continue to exercise zero tolerance when it comes to threatening the safety of our children and the disruption of school functions," Sheriff Gator DeLoach said. "The Sheriff’s Office will work closely with the Department of Juvenile Justice to see that the arrested student received the services needed to prevent future acts of this nature.” 

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