South Lake High School student wrote a bomb threat on bathroom stall, police say

Police spent hours ensuring the school was safe to return

Lockers in the hallway of a school. (WDIV)

LAKE COUNTY, FLA. – A Lake County student was arrested after making a bomb threat on Oct. 26.

An investigation by the Groveland Police Department ended with the arrest of Donnie Hancock, 15, after police were called to South Lake High School at 8:40 a.m. due to the threat.

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According to a police report, Hancock initially told a teacher that there was a written threat on a boy’s bathroom stall that read “There’s a bomb in the school.” He denied that he wrote it.

Police interviewed 18 students, including Hancock, and asked them to write their name, school and grade on the back of a statement guide. After finding similarities in Hancock’s handwriting and the writing on the wall, detectives interviewed him with his parents, police say.

As they showed his parents photos of the written threat, his mom began to cry, saying she recognized the handwriting. After Hancock’s mom asked him to tell the truth, he then admitted to writing the threat to get revenge on another student who bullied him in the past, police say.

According to a news release by the Groveland Police Department, they, alongside the Lake County’s Sheriff’s Office and Clermont Police department, spent hours using explosive detecting K-9s to ensure the school was safe for students to reenter.

Police say Hancock was charged with threatening to kill, do bodily harm, conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism; disturbing schools and other assemblies.

Students can report threats of violence anonymously to the SpeakOut Hotline at 800-423-8477.

About the Author:

Melissa Perez-Carrillo joined News 6 in September.