Arrest made in Washougal schools bomb threat

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter

Published:

 

— Washougal police arrested a 12-year-old boy they believe was responsible for phoning in a bomb threat to Washougal School District on Wednesday morning.

The message was left on a staff member’s voice mail at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. A short time later, the staff member retrieved the message and immediately notified police, Assistant Superintendent Rebecca Miner said.

The message indicated the threat was for Thursday but did not name a specific school, Miner said. Upon hearing the message and notifying police, staff at each school immediately conducted a complete walk through to look for suspicious items but found nothing, she said.

All schools in the district had scheduled early dismissals for parent-teacher conferences Wednesday. Students were released between 11:25 a.m. and 12:40 p.m., depending on the school.

As school officials implemented their emergency protocols, Washougal police began an investigation, which ultimately led to the arrest of the Washougal boy just after 6 p.m.

“The juvenile came to our office to give us information on who he thought did it,” Washougal Sgt. Geoff Reijonen said. “During that investigation, in the interview, it was found that he was the one who made the phone call.”

The boy, who is believed to be a student in the district, was arrested and transported to the Robert L. Harris Juvenile Justice Center in Vancouver. His name wasn’t released.

The district’s automated phone system placed calls to each household at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday notifying parents of the threat and safety precautions the school staff planned to take Thursday, Miner said. At about 7:50 p.m., parents received another phone call stating the police had made an arrest and the alert was canceled, she said.