Chattanooga Police Identify, Charge Social Media Poster Who Warned Students Not To Go To School; 2nd Student Also Charged In Hoax

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Police said they have identified the person who used social media to place warnings of a possible shooting at three local high schools.
Authorities said the teenage girl would be charged in Juvenile Court.
Police said additional hoax threats have been made, and a teen boy from another school has been charged in Juvenile Court.
Officials said, "Monday at approximately 4 p.m., Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Chattanooga Police Department, and East Ridge Police Department personnel were made aware of a meme that was circulating throughout social media outlets in the local area. The meme contained what many students and parents perceived as a threat or warning that affected three local high schools in Hamilton County. In light of the recent tragic events in Florida, the meme caused great concern among parents.
"Due to the fact law enforcement must take all perceived threats as real, SRO’s and investigators with both the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, the Chattanooga Police Department, and the East Ridge Police Department immediately began to investigate to find the origin of the meme and if a legitimate threat existed. Law enforcement from both agencies worked tirelessly through the night to investigate and locate where the meme originated.

"A local female juvenile has been identified as the creator of the meme and charges will be filed in juvenile court against her for filing a false report due to the fact her actions caused great community alarm. After locating the creator of the meme, it was determined no real threat was viable.

"The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Chattanooga Police Department, and East Ridge Police Department wish to make it clear that any and all threats or perceived threats against our community’s schools and our community’s children will be investigated.  Any person found to be participating in creating hoaxes or threats will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"Subsequently, there have been additional hoax threats made, and currently a male juvenile student is also in custody from a different school with similar charges being filed in Juvenile Court.

"Furthermore, electronic devices used to facilitate and spread threats or hoaxes are subject to search and seizure."

Chattanooga Police Department officials on Monday said they and area law enforcement "were aware of and working together to determine the person or persons responsible for posting a suspicious statement on social media."

The user name on the Snapchat post was listed as JayNBee. The social media post contained no threats of violence, but warned students to not go to school today (Tuesday), it was stated. 

Officials at the time said, "CPD Investigators along with the Hamilton County Sheriffs Office and other area law enforcement partners are working to determine the originator of the post. Through the process we have found that reposters have no malicious intent. 

"The Chattanooga Police Department is taking this social media post seriously. The CPD will have additional officers at schools today as an extra means of security and to ease the concerns of parents and students. We are appreciative of students and parents reporting the post to law enforcement. We encourage anyone with any information that could be helpful in leading investigators to the source of the original post to contact CPD at 423-698-2525."
Authorities said electronic devices used to spread threats are subject to search and seizure.


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