Bomb threat suspect arrestedPublished 8:00pm Thursday, June 13, 2013
The Bath teenager was arrested Wednesday in connection to a bomb threat at Northside High School in April.
Johnathan Zachery Frazier, 18, of Robin Lane, was arrested by Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies Wednesday. He was charged with one felony count of making a false bomb report and released on a $500 unsecured bond.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, on April 18, at 10:30 a.m., Northside’s school resource officer, Deputy Ernest Moore, notified the sheriff’s office that a bomb threat had been written on a bathroom wall at the Pinetown school. Additional deputies, along with Belhaven Fire Department, Pantego Fire Department and Pinetown Fire Department personnel, were called in to assist with the search of the building. No suspicious items were discovered, said the release.
But there was a significant amount of class time taken away when students were required to wait outside the school as deputies, firefighters, EMS and school staff scoured the building for potential threats, according to Maj. Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
“They were standing outside the school in safe zones, waiting for the school to be cleared,” Watson said. “It takes approximately an hour (to do the search), depending on the manpower available.”
Watson pointed out that circumstances can determine that a student offense be handled internally by Beaufort County Schools rather than by the sheriff’s office and a court of law, but not in cases where mass violence is threatened.
“For some offenses, yes, but not for acts this serious,” Watson said.
The same week of the April bomb threat, deputies were called to the school when a senior prank bordered on vandalism. In May, three bomb threats — two on consecutive days, one 10 days prior — had Superintendent of Beaufort County Schools Don Phipps considering heightened monitoring of certain areas and the use of video surveillance.