Robert J. Kirmelewicz, Chief
Jeffrey Gillen, Deputy Chief
Public Safety Building
181 Main St
Groveland, MA 01834
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Groveland Police Charge Juvenile 17, in Connection with Threatening Social Media Post
GROVELAND — Police Chief Robert J. Kirmelewicz reports that the Groveland Police Department this evening arrested a Pentucket Regional High School student and charged him in connection with a post he made on social media, involving a gun, making a threat against the high school.
A JUVENILE MALE, AGE 17, OF GROVELAND was arrested without incident at his home shortly before 9 p.m. He was charged with Communicating a Threat to a Public School.
Shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday, another juvenile entered the West Newbury Police Department and reported that they observed a posting on the social network Instagram allegedly depicting the suspect with referencing the first day of school and showing what appeared to be a firearm tucked into his waistband.
West Newbury Police contacted Groveland Police and the suspect was taken into custody within an hour and a half of the initial report.
The firearm in question was determined to be an Airsoft pistol, which is considered a firearm for the purposes of school building threats. Groveland Police, however, do not believe there was ever any danger to the school community. Schools will open on schedule tomorrow.
“Regardless of the intent or lack thereof behind these kinds of social media postings, municipal police departments take any form of threat against a school very seriously,” Chief Kirmelewicz said. “I am very pleased with the level of teamwork that exists among the three police departments in Pentucket region. We were able to locate and apprehend this individual within 90 minutes of the initial report.”
On the first day of school annually, the three police departments that encompass the Pentucket Regional School District — Groveland, West Newbury, and Merrimac — have an increased presence at all four elementary schools as well as the Middle School and High School complex. That will continue tomorrow, but officials stress that the schools are safe.
“I appreciate and value the good work of our police departments. They continually provide our communities with peace of mind and an extremely high level of public safety and security,” said Jeffrey Mulqueen, Superintendent of Schools for the Pentucket Regional School District. “I am confident that the start of the new school year will be a positive one for our students, faculty, staff, and families.”
The suspect is being held without bail and will be arraigned Wednesday in Lawrence Juvenile Court.