LIMA — A 13-year-old boy who reportedly admitted to police that he used Instagram to threaten a shooting incident at Bath Middle School was ordered Thursday to remain in custody until his next court appearance on June 4.
The post, which police say was posted on Instagram at approximately 5:20 a.m. Wednesday, read: “Bath Middle School will be shot up at May 24 the time. 9:11 be ready!!”
Investigators were able to track the source of the post and took the boy — described by officials as a former Bath student — into custody Wednesday afternoon.
Detective Nate Music of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office said during Thursday’s hearing in Allen County Juvenile Court that officials at Bath schools were notified of the threat and subsequently met with detectives to chart a course of action. Classes were held at Bath schools on Wednesday as scheduled but with a heavy police presence. Deputies were back at the school on Thursday as a security measure.
The teen suspect, who looks younger than his 13 years, appeared with his mother Thursday morning before Allen County Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Derryberry for an initial court appearance following his arrest Wednesday on a second-degree felony charge of juvenile delinquency by inducing panic.
The boys’ family members filed a last-minute oral objection to the presence of the media at Thursday’s hearing, but Derryberry denied that request.
The hearing was a two-pronged event, with a reading of the facts of the case preceding the defendant’s plea. Attorney Jerry Doute, retained by the boy’s family to represent him in court proceedings, entered a plea of “denial” on his young client’s behalf.
The remaining issue to be addressed dealt with whether the teen would be released from custody.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Holly Looser told Derryberry that the Instagram post “portrayed a gun in the background” and for that reason Looser said it was in “the best interest of the community that he remain in custody.”
Derryberry agreed and ordered the teen to remain in detention for the time being.
Allen County Sheriff’s deputies maintained a presence at all Bath school sites throughout the day on Thursday as classes were held as scheduled. No additional incidents were reported.