16-Year-Old Charged With Calling in Bomb Threats to D.C. High Schools

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D.C. police said they arrested a 16-year-old and charged him with calling in bomb threats at several high schools in the District on Wednesday, forcing the evacuations of hundreds of students and staff from buildings across the city.

Dustin Sternbeck, a police spokesman, said the youth is from Southeast Washington and is being charged with making terrorist threats. His name was not released, and it was not immediately clear whether he is being charged as an adult or as a juvenile.

Eight schools, including D.C. public high schools and charter schools, received threats Wednesday. Police searched school buildings with bomb technicians and dogs trained to smell explosive substances. No bombs or hazardous items were found at any of the schools.

Sternbeck said police have tied the teenager “to several incidents” that occurred Wednesday afternoon. Police have not yet concluded whether the youth may be connected to a similar threat on Tuesday at Dunbar High School during a visit by the second gentleman Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Harris.

“The investigation is ongoing as we explore his potential connection to the remaining cases, including the one with the second gentleman,” Sternbeck said.

Authorities did not divulge a possible motive for the calls or discuss the investigation that led to the youth.

Police scrambled Wednesday as a succession of bomb threats were called into four public and four private high schools in Northwest, Northeast, and Southeast Washington. Most of the calls were made between noon and 1 p.m.; two came in after 2 p.m.

Sternbeck said all the calls were similar and involved threats that an explosive device would detonate within a specified time frame. Police had previously said the call that came into Dunbar on Tuesday during Emhoff’s visit indicated that people had 10 minutes to leave.