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WILLOWBROOK | Social Media Threats Against Schools On the Rise, Local 15 Year Old Charged



STUDENT ACCUSED OF POSTING THREATENING MESSAGES ON INSTAGRAM DIRECTED AT WILLOWBROOK SCHOOL

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Villa Park Chief of Police Michael Rivas announced today that a Willowbrook High School student has been accused of posting threatening messages on social media directed at the school. The juvenile, a fifteen-year-old male who lives in Villa Park, appeared at a detention hearing this morning where Judge Anthony Coco ordered that he be released to the custody of his mother. He has been charged with one count of Disorderly Conduct, a Class 4 Felony. On December 14, 2021, the Villa Park Police Department received a call from the Willowbrook High School liaison officer regarding a threat of violence directed at the school. The alleged threat was brought to the attention of school authorities by students at the school. An investigation into the matter alleges that the juvenile made an Instagram post that read “Friday this bitch gonna sound like a party.” It is alleged that the juvenile made an additional post that read “I’m shooting up the school” with an emoji of the number 100. An investigation into the posts led authorities to the juvenile who was taken into custody later that day. “For the second time this week, a juvenile appeared before a judge charged with making a threat to a school,” Berlin said. “These threats are not harmless jokes or an excuse to blow off steam. They have a chilling effect not just on students, teachers and staff, but also on parents, siblings and the community as a whole. As I said earlier this week, and I cannot stress this enough, my office takes any threat of violence aimed at a school very seriously and anyone suspected of making such a threat will be investigated and charged accordingly. First and foremost, I commend the students at Willowbrook High School for alerting authorities to the alleged posts. I thank authorities at Willowbrook High School for contacting law enforcement as well as the Villa Park Police Department for their quick response in this case. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Grace Barsanti and Tony Raimondi for their work in helping us keep our schools as safe as possible.” “We will continue to take any and all threats concerning our schools seriously and hold those accountable for stoking fear in our community,” Rivas said. “I want to thank Willowbrook High School for their continued dedication to student safety and for our great working relationship. I also want to thank our Detectives, Officers and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office for bringing this incident to a quick peaceful resolution.” Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.







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