For the third time this week, a student has been arrested and charged with uttering threats against a local school.
“We’ve arrested another individual,” Edmonton Police Service (EPS) spokesperson Scott Pattison said Friday. “Our cyber tech crimes team and other teams are working diligently on this and there likely will be other arrests.”
The EPS said the threats were made against Ottewell Junior High School near 94 Avenue and 73 Street.
“It appears that many of these situations are just individuals that think that they can toil in relative ambiguity online,” Pattison said. “I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.”
“Obviously it’s police’s job to … filter through and decide whether or not there’s any intent or seriousness,” he said. “We address and consider all of these things with the utmost serious level.”
Police said this latest threat was also in the form of a clown post.
Pattison said some students have even come forward to police, confessing and saying they didn’t intend harm.
“We’re very grateful. Investigators have seen kind of – the tide turn on the situation where students are now trying to keep these individuals accountable. Of course, nobody likes going to school feeling unsafe.”
On Wednesday, two teenagers were charged with uttering threats after posts “inciting violence” against Edmonton high schools were shared on Instagram.
Police said one was charged in relation to threats made against Harry Ainlay High School and the second was connected to threats against J. Percy Page and McNally schools.
Harry Ainlay High School was locked down after an online threat was made against an administrative staff member.
Students were linking the lockdown to a bizarre Instagram account on which images of clowns and veiled threats like “you’ll be the first to die” and “killing is an act of mercy” were posted Wednesday. The user of the account goes by the name “The Arbiter” and claims to attend Harry Ainlay.
On Thursday, after two clown sightings, RCMP in Fort Saskatchewan made a request to speak to the person wearing a clown mask.
Later in the day, they met with a 15-year-old boy and his mother. RCMP said charges were not likely and described the situation as an error in judgement. (kb with files from Global News)