Hawai`i County Prosecutors Charge Middle School Kids with “Terroristic Threatening”

Two middle school students have been charged with terroristic threatening in connection with a fake homemade bomb confiscated at Konawaena Middle School on Wednesday (October 26).

Kona patrol officers responded to the school Thursday afternoon (October 27) in response to a report that school officials had confiscated a homemade bomb from a student. Police investigation revealed that the device—-consisting of an aluminum can with electronic parts and numerous wires—-had been confiscated from a 13-year-old boy’s backpack on Wednesday and taken to the vice principal’s office. It had been given to the 13-year-old boy by a 14-year-old boy, who is also a student at the school.

Police secured the building and called the U.S. Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Oahu.

Both students were arrested at the school at 2:30 p.m. After consulting with Hawaiʻi County prosecutors, police charged each of them at 3:30 p.m. with first-degree terroristic threatening. They were release to the custody of their parents or guardians pending an appearance in Family Court.

Shortly after 6 p.m., when school was closed, the Army’s bomb squad arrived and determined that the bomb was a simulation that did not contain any explosives.

Major James O’Connor from the Area II Operations Bureau, said this incident is a reminder of the importance of communication between parents and their children.

“As a parent myself, I can’t stress enough the value of making ourselves aware of what our children are reading, writing and talking about,” O’Connor said. “A parent’s guidance can reduce or eliminate these potentially dangerous situations.”

–Hawaii Police Department

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