2 face charges over threat to Southwest Schools

From Local Sources

Ransom

HUNTINGBURG — Police say two individuals will be charged after authorities investigated the report of a possible school threat involving the Southwest Dubois County School Corporation.

On Tuesday, the Huntingburg Police Department and the Southwest Schools received information about a possible threat that was posted on a social media outlet.

Police report the threat was thoroughly and quickly investigated by Huntingburg police with the aid of the Southwest Schools.

The investigation resulted in the arrest Tuesday night of Joshua D. Ransom, 18, of 3019 Anthony Court, Huntingburg. Ransom has been preliminarily charged with a Level 5 felony count of intimidation.

Police said a juvenile will also be charged in connection with the case.

Authorities booked Ransom into the Dubois County Security Center at 3:36 a.m. today.

Police and school corporation officials had previously investigated a social media threat that resulted in the March 1 closure of Southwest Dubois County School Corporation schools. That incident involved a threatening photograph sent through the social media platform Snapchat.

Early in that previous investigation, police discovered the photo was taken from a past news article featured in The Oregonian newspaper about a school-threat incident in Beaverton, Oregon, and did not depict a Southridge High School student in Indiana. However, police add, the source of the viral Snapchat posting was initially unknown; therefore, officers and school staff worked diligently throughout the night Thursday, Feb. 28, to ensure there was no threat to the school corporation.

At 1 a.m. Friday, March 1 — roughly an hour after school had been canceled — the source of the viral photo was located and investigated by officers. Following that interview, officers determined that no threat to the school corporation existed. Furthermore, police said, the source of the viral photo was a Southridge student who found it after conducting a Google search in an attempt to obtain information in reference to an earlier press release from the school.

The student located the article and attached photo, believing it was related to the earlier incident and sent it to a few friends on Snapchat. From there, police say, the photo went viral around the Southridge student body and other area school corporations.

The incident that preceded the Snapchat post had been investigated earlier in the day that Thursday and involved a threat a student made to Southridge High School.

The student was reported by classmates and taken into custody by Huntingburg police and suspended from school, according to an email Superintendent Tim LaGrange sent to parents that Thursday.

On Feb. 27, 2018, Huntingburg Police took a student into custody for threatening Southridge High School. That student was eventually transported to the Southwest Juvenile Facility in Knox County for Level 6 felony intimidation, according to Herald archives.




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