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Girl Held in O.C. School Threat

October 15, 2003|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

A 14-year-old girl was under arrest Tuesday over an alleged threat to disrupt an assembly at Buena Park High School with gunfire and kill a large number of students.

The suspect was not identified because of her age, but Buena Park police spokesman Sgt. James Banks said she is a student at the school and lives in Fullerton.

Banks said the threat was made over the weekend in an e-mail sent to a school administrator. "It was reported to us at 10 a.m. Monday," he said. "The note said there would be gunshots and a lot of dead bodies all over the place. This was supposed to happen at an assembly [Tuesday]."

Not taking a chance that the e-mail was a prank, detectives traced the message to an America Online account at a Fullerton residence and obtained a search warrant for the house Monday.

Investigators said they found the computer used to send the note. The girl was arrested on suspicion of sending criminal threats via electronic mail, a felony. She is cooperating with detectives, Banks said.

No weapons were found at the home, he said.

Banks said departmental policy limits the information that can be released in a juvenile case. But he suggested the girl may have sent the threat as a joke.

"Sometimes people perceive these things as a joke and have no idea they're going to be taken seriously. This is not a time to be joking about these matters," Banks said.

The girl was being detained at Juvenile Hall on Tuesday. She was the second teenager in Orange County arrested in a campus incident in two weeks.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested last week by Placentia police after he allegedly tried to poison his algebra teacher at El Camino Real High School by putting eyedrops in her drinking water. He was charged with a felony count of tampering with a beverage and released to his parents' custody.

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