Merritt Island teen faces felony after threatening Snapchat post, police say

Boy arrested, school evacuated

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COCOA, Fla. - A Merritt Island teen warned his Snapchat followers not to go to Space Coast Christian Academy on Monday because he was going to “blow the place up,” the Cocoa Police Department said.

The boy, whose name is being withheld due to his status as a minor, was arrested after the message reached school administrators, who called police, officers said in a news release.

Detectives were able to learn fairly quickly that the threatening message originated from the 15-year-old’s home, police said. Now, he faces a felony charge of making a false bomb threat.

The teen said on Snapchat that he would “blow the place up,” meaning the school in Cocoa, before 11 a.m., officers said.

School administrators contacted police regarding the social media threat just after 7:30 a.m.

Officials shut down the school and moved students to another location as the scene was cleared.

Two deputies and one bomb-sniffing dog searched the campus, which is a part of Bethel Baptist Church on Michigan Avenue. No bombs were found and students were eventually allowed to return.

“Detectives determined (the boy) created a pseudo Snapchat account using a fictitious name to send the threatening message to (his) real account,” police said in the release. “(He) then sent a screen capture of the message to a female friend and a family member who then sent the message to the school leaders.

The Cocoa police chief said the department takes these types of cases very seriously.

In Florida, making a false bomb threat is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum 15 years in prison, if the case is handled in the adult courts, police said.

Because the boy is still a minor, the case will be handled in the juvenile justice system, which has different penalties.

The teen was turned over to juvenile authorities where he will be given a court date.

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