A 15-year-old student in Saanich was arrested on Oct. 29 in relation to a post that was placed on a social media site.
Saanich Police say on Oct. 28, they were contacted by several people who had seen a post online. It was on a group page that had not been authorized by a local high school, but was operating under the school’s name. That page has since been taken down.
“It is alleged that the 15-year-old student took a picture of a weapon and posted the photograph, along with a caption, warning other students not to attend school the following day,” said Sgt. Steve Eassie from Saanich Police. “Due to the possibility of an ongoing court process, I am unable to provide further details about the post itself as it will form part of the evidence in the case”.
Significant police resources were used to find the poster and officials from School District 61 were also notified and worked with police.
During the course of the investigation, officers were posted at the school, both on the exterior of the school, as well as inside, to deter someone from carrying through on what was perceived to be a threat, and to be in a position to respond immediately if a threat was found.
Investigators were successful in identifying a 15-year-old boy as a possible suspect. Information to support an arrest was obtained and the student was taken into custody without incident at his home.
“A considerable amount of police resources were committed to this investigation and we are pleased that our investigators were successful in identifying and locating the suspect in this case” said Saanich Police Detective Inspector Terry Parker. “In cases such as this, where there is a perceived threat towards a public institution, every necessary resource will be used to bring the suspects to justice and to ensure the safety of the public”.
The suspect was released from custody with conditions of not attending the high school in question, and refraining from using any social media site.
Charges of Mischief Under $5,000 have been recommended and the information from the investigation has been forwarded to Crown for charge approval.
“Investigators have indicated that the suspect never intended to harm anyone, and that the post was simply meant as a ‘joke’” said Eassie. “Anyone using social media needs to recognize that they could face criminal sanctions if common sense is not followed”.