Teen arrested in connection to Point Loma school threats - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Teen arrested in connection to Point Loma school threats

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/ CNS) - A San Diego boy arrested in connection with three separate bomb threats made against Point Loma High School April 5 and 6 was linked to an online group suspected of making similar threats across the United States and Canada, police said Thursday.

"Over the course of a couple of months, we learned a juvenile student who was a sophomore at Point Loma High School was involved in an online gaming community that did these types of bomb threats and swatting incidents at several places throughout the nation," said Lt. James Keck. 

The group is suspected of so-called "swatting" incidents in Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Texas and Ontario, Canada, according to a San Diego Police Department statement.

Swatting is the practice of triggering an emergency service response by falsely reporting a serious crime.

"It's pretty scary when it happens. We were just sitting in class, and we hear the loud noises, and so first reaction is just hide and turn of all the lights and just be quiet," said Cole Vanderhoof. 

San Diego police said such threats are taken seriously and the level of their response is determined based on whatever information they receive. But, fraudulent treats often result in costly emergency responses, which can include deploying specialized personnel and equipment.

"What's the whole reason for doing that other than scaring a bunch of people," said Kyle Miller. 

"However, when it is later determined that the information received was not only false but was delivered with the intent to cause a considerable emergency response, then the department is committed to conducting thorough investigations directed towards the arrest and prosecution of all persons involved and responsible for making these threats," according to the police statement.

The boy was taken into custody Wednesday after detectives served a search warrant at his home, and has been booked into Juvenile Hall, police said. It was not immediately clear whether he attended Point Loma High School.

Police said other suspected members of the group had been arrested elsewhere in the country, and more arrests in connection with the hoaxes may be on the horizon.

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