17-year-old charged in Clark State bomb threat

911 caller says evacuation began after text message to students

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

A 17-year-old was arrested after a reported bomb threat on Clark State College’s downtown Springfield campus Thursday afternoon, police announced Friday.

The juvenile was arrested on charges of making false alarms, making terroristic threats and inducing panic after he was accused of sending text messages to students that a bomb had been placed in the building. He was placed in the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center.

“One of the students here just got a text about a bomb threat on the second floor, so we’re getting everybody out,” a 911 caller told dispatchers. “All it said, the text, was there’s a pipe bomb on the second floor.”

The initial bomb threat report and 911 call came from the Brinkman Educational Center, 100 S. Limestone St.,

While in class, several students started getting text messages that they thought were scammers, according to the police report. After they kept ignoring those texts, the sender started sending more suspicious texts, eventually one stating there was a pipe bomb on the second floor.

The threat prompted a police response and investigation at the Brinkman center, as well as at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center near the Kuss Auditorium.

The college was evacuated with help from Springfield police, and all campuses in Springfield, Beavercreek, Xenia and Bellefontaine were closed Thursday and Friday. However, weekend activities will proceed, and the campus is expected to reopen Monday.

Springfield police detectives, Clark State administrators and its security team all worked together to identify the suspect, who was found Thursday with the help of Dayton Police and Dayton Airport Police dogs.

While investigating, detectives received information about the phone number used to send the threatening texts, which they were able to track back to a “Text Me” phone app and later to an IP and email address, according to the affidavit filed in the case.

Detectives then had the juvenile return to the scene “due to him having interacted with the number most” and having responded to text messages with the phone number, the affidavit stated. The juvenile then consented for officers to go through his phone, in which they noticed his email account logged into Gmail was the same one used to set up the “Text Me” account.

The juvenile was arrested and admitted to sending the messages because he said he didn’t like the material in the classroom. He said it started as a “practical joke and continued to evolve, and he did not know when to stop,” the affidavit stated.

No injuries were reported, and no explosive devices were found.

The incident remains under investigation by Springfield police with the help of the FBI and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Bomb Squad.

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