A 14-year-old boy was charged with phoning in false bomb threats Monday to Lakeland and Walter Panas high schools.
The unidentified youth was arrested at his home following an investigation by detectives from the Westchester County Police General Investigations Unit into the threat at Panas in Cortlandt. In addition, the youth faces a similar charge from the Yorktown Police Department in connection with the bomb threat called in to Lakeland in Shrub Oak.
On Monday morning, separate calls were made to Panas and Lakeland claiming the schools were going to “blow up.” Both schools were evacuated.
Members of the county police Hazardous Devices Unit conducted a sweep of both schools, including using canines trained to identify explosive materials. HDU officers determined that it was safe for students and staff to return to both buildings.
“Incidents like these disrupt the education of students, cause concern among parents and others in the community, and divert police resources unnecessarily,” County Police Commissioner George N. Longworth said. “We will investigate these incidents vigorously and seek to apprehend those responsible.”
The youth was released to a parent with an appearance ticket requiring him to appear later this month in Westchester County Family Court. He was charged as a juvenile. The equivalent charge in the penal code for persons over 16 years of age would be Falsely Reporting an Incident 1st Degree, which is a felony.