Roswell police tackle school threats, charge 4 students | KOB 4
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Roswell police tackle school threats, charge 4 students

Casey Torres and Marian Camacho
March 15, 2018 05:28 PM

ROSWELL, N.M. -- Four students have been charged with making school threats, and one of them is accused of sending a text to her parents claiming there was a gunman at the school.

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Police say that text turned out to be false, and they are fed up with the nonsense. Chaves County Crime Stoppers has stepped in to help crack down on those cases.

Police say in the course of about three weeks, they have responded and investigated nine threats of harm that were directed at students and staff of the schools there.  In an additional incident, a female student sent a text to her parent falsely claiming there was a person with a gun at her school. 

That teenager was arrested and police also arrested three boys ages 11, 12 and 13 for written threats.  All four have been criminally charged under a state law that prohibits anyone from willfully interfering with the educational process of a school. These cases resulted in creating hysteria at the schools and students being absent from class as a result.

On Wednesday, Roswell students took part in a national walkout to protest gun violence. Despite a similar incident taking place in Berrendo Middle School in 2014, students continue making threats.

The Roswell Police Department has found the latest threats to be idle, but it's still a serious matter.

"What it is, is a crime for disrupting the school and rights of everyone else to get their education every day," said Todd Wildermuth, a public information officer for Roswell police.

Wildermuth said these "jokes" have caused significant school absences and have hurt real cases.

"Anytime we're checking it and chasing something that isn't true and that is just a hoax, that certainly takes resources away from the more productive things that we could be doing," he said.

In an effort to help catch those responsible for the threats, Chaves County Crime Stoppers is offering a monetary compensation.

"Well, the Chaves County board members have recognized the severity of these school threats," board member Richard Lucero said. "And we wanted to show our support to the students and the parents by offering a $500 reward."

The $500 reward will be given to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the students responsible for the threats. Lucero said anyone who calls the tip line will remain anonymous.

Anyone with information should call 1-888-594-TIPS (8477) and can remain anonymous. People can also call the Roswell Police Department at (575) 624-6770 to report information about these incidents.

Credits

Casey Torres and Marian Camacho

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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