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Deputies with a bomb sniffing dog search the campus of TCHS Friday morning. A 17-year-old student at the school was later arrested.
Photo by Andrea Olivas
By Andrea Olivas & Terry Miller
In recent weeks the collective nerves of parents of school aged children have been on edge as many threats of violence have been received to which much needed law enforcement officers have to respond, taking them away from keeping other parts of the cities safe.
In those threats a suspect was arrested and is now awaiting arraignment on multiple charges of threatening to shoot students and police officers with an AK47 at schools in Duarte, Monrovia and Arcadia.
This latest threat was a called in bomb threat at Temple City High School on Friday morning.
A 17-year old student of Temple City High School was subsequently arrested and booked Friday shortly after 5:00PM by Temple Sheriff’s Station deputies and booked for three felony counts of Making False Bomb Threats (148.1(a) California Penal Code).
On Friday a LASD issued a press release saying “Over the course of the last four days, the high school junior is suspected of placing three separate bomb threat calls to law enforcement agencies, all targeting schools in Temple City. The series of false threat calls are as follows:
1) Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 10:40PM, the Temple Sheriff’s Station dispatch desk received a call, wherein the caller was attempting to disguise his voice. The caller claimed that several bombs had been placed within the Temple City High School campus (9501 East Lemon Avenue, Temple City), which were set to explode between the hours of 9:00AM and 4:45PM the following day, Wednesday, September 25. Out of an abundance of caution for public safety, a search of the campus by Temple Sheriff’s Station deputies and Los Angeles County Sheriffs deputies from other units was conducted and no explosive devices were found. High school classes were not interrupted, as the search was concluded prior to the start of classes.
2) On Wednesday, September 25 at 7:50AM, the Temple Sheriff’s Station dispatch desk was notified by California Highway Patrol dispatch that they had just received a call, wherein the caller claimed two bombs were set to explode on the Longden Elementary School campus, (9501 Longden Avenue, Temple City), later in the day. Longden Elementary School is nearby Temple City High School. Again, out of an abundance of caution for public safety, Temple Sheriff’s Station deputies, assisted by sheriff’s deputies from other units, evacuated students, contained the campus and conducted a search of the school grounds. No explosive devices were located. In the interest of student and staff safety, school at Longden Elementary school was cancelled for the day and the children were released to their parents.
3) On Friday, September 27, at 6:40AM, the Temple Sheriff’s Station dispatch desk received a call, wherein the caller claimed that explosive devices were placed on the Temple City High School campus. With a focus on student and staff safety, classes were cancelled for the day by the school Superintendent. Again, Temple Sheriff’s Station deputies, with the assistance of other Sheriff’s Department units, conducted a search of the school campus. No explosive devices were found. Other deputies included explosives detection K-9’s and handler deputies and a sheriff’s helicopter.”
Using advanced technology and investigative techniques, key information was gathered by Temple Sheriff’s Station investigators and the suspect was identified. At 5:15PM Friday, sheriff’s investigators served a search warrant and arrest warrant on the suspect at his home in North San Gabriel in the presence of his parents. He has implicated himself in Fridays false bomb report. No explosives or weapons were found when the search warrant was served by sheriff’s detectives. No motive is yet known.
Threats such as these are taken very seriously. Criminal threats bring fear to students, faculty, parents, and the community. They cause traffic jams and disrupt people’s lives unnecessarily. They also draw a significant amount of policing resources away from other legitimate purposes. Incidents such as these will continue to be handled in a very serious manner. This includes the threat when first received, as well as the investigation to determine the source.
Due to the threat, the school’s Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith cancelled classes at TCHS last Friday.
Longden Elementary school was also locked down on Wednesday, September 25 after a caller phoned in bomb threats at both the school and sheriff’s station according to a report.
The phone calls were received just after 7:50 a.m. via both a call directly to school, 9501 E. Wendon Street, as well as a 9-1-1 call, Los Angeles County sheriff’s dept. spokesman confirmed.
Officials evacuated approximately 1,000 students to Oak Avenue Intermediate school as deputies began a campus search to look for anything out of the ordinary. No bombs were found and the all-clear was given after a complete search of both schools. The CHP also received one of the phone calls that morning at about 7:50 a.m.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents that may be of assistance to investigators please contact the Temple Sheriff’s Station at 626-285-7171. Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call LA Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the web.