Law enforcement leaders have a special warning for teens who post violent threats on social media

Local News

(WIVB) — Think twice before you post. That’s the message from local law enforcement after a rash of violent social media threats caused several schools to close school buildings this week.

“The most pertinent and, quite frankly a lot of times the only charge, is making a terrorist threat,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. “We have a charge in our penal law, making a terrorist threat. That’s a felony, that’s a class D felony. So, we can and we have charged that on occasion over the past number of years here.”

Late Friday the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 15-year-old for a threat that forced the Allegany-Limestone Central School District and the Olean City School District to go full remote.

Officials say, the social media post showed a photo of a gun and referenced a school. Sheriff’s officials say the threat was not credible and the teen will be arraigned in Cattaraugus County Family Court.

“Think twice before you do it. Think about the consequences for your fellow classmates and your teachers. the consequences for yourself,” said Captain Robert Blovsky, Olean Police Criminal Investigation Unit.

The Allegany threat is coupled with two other threats this week, one at Batavia schools and the other at Lockport schools.

“You might think it’s funny,” said Holly Hubert, former FBI agent, CEO of Global Security IQ. “Or maybe there’s some lost kid out there that’s looking for attention. You will get that attention and notoriety that I don’t think you want. Once you post something you have to live with it your whole life long.”

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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