Weekly Feature

2012-02-15 / Front Page

Juvenile identified in Facebook threat

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

Amherst police on Tuesday identified a 13-year-old juvenile who they believe is involved in an incident that occurred Sunday regarding an unauthorized hacking into a Sweet Home Middle School student’s social networking page.

According to Capt. Michael Camilleri, the hacking involved the posting of a school threat on Facebook.

“Investigation revealed the juvenile accessed the social networking site without authorization and the post was made without the owner’s knowledge,” Camilleri said.

On Monday, Sweet Home Superintendent Anthony Day posted a letter on the district’s website detailing the incident.

“The post made reference to a student bringing a weapon to school and using it on others,” Day said in the statement. “Word of the post quickly spread and has created considerable fear and anxiety amongst our school community.”

Camilleri said the posted threat did not appear to be credible and the incident seems to be limited to the identified juvenile, with no other students involved.

As a result of the Facebook posting, however, Day said an extra police presence was at the middle school campus on Monday and officers assisted in searching all student bookbags upon their entry to the building. He said the search was to ensure that a weapon does not enter the school.

“We are working closely with the Amherst police to take those steps we feel are necessary to protect the welfare of our students,” Day said. “Successfully investigating instances of Facebook hacking is difficult, but we are committed to cooperating with law enforcement to identify the guilty party and prosecute that person to the fullest extent of the law.”

Camilleri said police are still investigating the incident and charges are pending.

email: kdepriest@beenews.com

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