UPDATE: Prescott threat was a hoax, chief says
The supposed texted threat that prompted cancellation of activities in the Prescott School District Thursday evening turns out to have been a hoax, dreamed up by the teenager who first reported it, according to Prescott police.
Text messages received by a Prescott teenager Thursday afternoon that indicated an individual from St. Paul was enroute to the school to harm him turned out to have been sent by the teen himself as a ploy to avoid going to school, Prescott Police Chief Mike Bondarenko announced early Friday.
The explanation came in the wake of local officers and deputies standing by at Prescott High School Thursday afternoon as students were dismissed, and the subsequent cancellation of all activities in the district Thursday night.
The Prescott student, who is a juvenile, was released to the custody of his father following questioning by police Thursday night. He will be referred to Pierce County juvenile authorities for possible prosecution.
"School district officials and my department took the threat seriously," said Bondarenko in a press release issued early Friday. "The decision to cancel evening activities was strictly a precaution in the best interests of public safety. We did not learn until after activities were cancelled that the threat was a hoax."
The student told school officials he received a threatening text message about 2 p.m. Thursday from a person he'd met in St. Paul. A second text received about 3:30 p.m. stated the person was enroute to Prescott to harm him at the school.
"The student admitted to us and our investigation confirmed that he sent both text messages to himself and fabricated the story about the person in St. Paul, who does not exist," the chief said.