NEW DETAILS: An 18-year-old senior at Westwood Junior-Senior High School was hospitalized under police custody, and four weapons were seized from his home, in connection with threats he made about what “he would like to do” to certain other students during a Skype conversation yesterday, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino this morning said his department treated the incident as a “credible threat” of violence against “specific students” and charged the teen with making terroristic threats and four counts of weapons possession.
However, both he and Washington Township Police Chief Randy Ciocco told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that the incident wasn’t as serious as officials initially believed.
“It looks more like stupidity,” Regino said.
The student’s identity cannot yet be released, both chiefs said, because Washington Township police had him admitted him to Bergen Regional Medical Center to be evaluated. Federal law prohibits such disclosure at the moment.
Search warrants were obtained for the part-time stock clerk’s computer, police said.
Uniformed and plainclothes police from Westwood and Washington Township were inside and outside the school this morning, following yesterday’s incident ( SEE: Authorities respond to remark of ‘potential shooting’ at Westwood school ). Students from both townships attend the Washington Township school.
“At the moment, there doesn’t exist any threat at all,” Regino told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning. “But we don’t take any chances with something like this. We moved very quickly, in concert with Washington Township police.”
“It was more specific to individuals and had nothing to do with the school,” another law enforcement source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
This comes amid incidents at River Dell High School in Oradell, where a threat to be carried out tomorrow was scribled on the wall of a girl’s bathroom a day before last week’s Newtown massacre, and in Ridgewood, where police said an unfounded threat caused a stir.
Both involved “end of the world” beliefs about tomorrow (Dec. 21, 2012) that scientists have debunked.
After searching the Westwood teen’s home, interviewing him and others and recovering the evidence, they charged him, Regino said.
Ciocco said his officers spoke with at least two other students — including the one who was chatting on Skype and the one who overheard the remark.
No additional arrests were expected, according to Regino, who said detectives were in contact with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
However, he said there likely would be additional information released as the investigation by both townships’ police departments progresses.
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