Teenager arrested for copycat threat at LS

By Jay Bell
This article was published November 11, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.

A 14-year-old student at Lakeside High School was arrested Friday morning after allegedly confessing to writing a copycat threat of a shooting on campus.

It was the second time in as many days the Lakeside School District and Hot Springs Police Department addressed a threat written on a restroom wall. The second threat was investigated less than 15 hours after a male juvenile was shot in an unrelated incident on Fernwood Street, which is located in the school district boundaries.

"Please talk with your students about how big an issue this is," the district posted on Facebook at 11:21 a.m. Friday. "There are serious long-term school and legal repercussions that can have a major effect on the student making the threat, up to removal from Lakeside. It is imperative to tell your student to report any threatening behavior to the school and to you as a parent."

The second threat was discovered on the same day as multiple agencies visited the campus for Veterans Day activities. An Arkansas Army National Guard crew flew a Blackhawk helicopter to the campus Friday morning from Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock.

Also on campus were members of the Hot Springs Police Department's SWAT team. Officers led students on tours of the department's MRAP rescue vehicle.

"We are investigating an anonymous threat that was found written in a High School restroom stating that there would be a shooting, no names were mentioned," Cook wrote on the district's Facebook page at 9:35 a.m.

"We have reported this incident to Hot Springs PD. As a result, you will see an increased police presence on campus today as they work with us to ensure the safety of all students. Additionally, a Black Hawk Helicopter is on campus for a Veteran's Day event and is unrelated to the threat. The safety of your student is our highest priority."

Parents began to receive official notifications shortly after the post. Police posted information about the incident to Facebook and Twitter at 10:58 a.m.

"This morning the Hot Springs Police Department was alerted to a new threat at Lakeside High School," the post said. "This was a copycat incident from the threat that was made yesterday. A student has been taken into custody and there is no danger to the students at Lakeside."

A second post by the department's @HotSpringsPD account on Twitter said a 14-year-old student was arrested for the threat.

Police were alerted on Thursday of a threat written on a restroom wall at Lakeside Middle School. Cook said the district worked closely with law enforcement officials to investigate the matter and a student confessed.

The unrelated shooting on Thursday night led to an attempt by LifeNet to airlift the victim. A helicopter landed in the shot put area of the district's athletic facilities, but the victim was instead transported by ambulance to an area hospital.

Local on 11/11/2017
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