Fake Bomb Threat at Ridgewood NJ Middle School the Latest “Swatting” Incident in New Jersey
The threat was phoned in late Thursday morning, causing authorities to initiate a lockdown at George Washington Middle School in Ridgewood, NJ.
According to the school district superintendent, the Ridgewood Police Department responded to the bomb threat by implementing “their emergency response measures.” These included an exhaustive search of the school building in order to make sure that it was safe for students.
Ridgewood police are actively investigating the incident and trying to identify the person who placed the phony bomb threat. At this time, investigators have not identified a suspect in the case.
This incident was the most recent in a number of “swatting” hoaxes throughout New Jersey. The culprits in swatting incidents often target public places because they want to provoke a police response that involves heavily armed tactical teams, also known as SWAT units.
In recent weeks, swatting incidents were reported at University Medical Center in Princeton NJ and at a pizza shop in Fort Lee, NJ.
Authorities have not yet determined if any of these recent swatting incidents are related.
If the offenders in any of these cases are eventually identified and apprehended, they could be subject to criminal charges for terroristic threats. N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3 stipulates that anyone who attempts to terrorize another person or cause evacuation of a building can face third degree charges and potentially be sentenced to 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
For more information, go to the NJ.com article entitled “Ridgewood School Targeted in Swatting Hoax, Officials Say.”