Today is April Fools' Day. A lot of people are likely pulling pranks on others for the fun of it. Hopefully the fallout from the practical jokes is nothing more than a smirk and a giggle. Sadly, that's not always the case.
We don't expect that April Fools' has anything to do with the recent spate of alleged bomb threats that have been reported in parts of Northern Virginia in recent weeks. What we do know is that authorities take each one of them seriously. And the latest one has resulted in the arrest of a 17-year-old male. He now faces a felony charge. It's a matter that could affect the rest of his life.
Police in Fairfax County say the alleged bomb threat made in this case happened on March 2 against McLean High School. Officials say at least one member of school staff received an email indicating the presence of some sort of explosive device. This was one day after similar threats at six other schools in both Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Despite the timing of the events, authorities say the threats are not related to each other.
As one might expect, police immediately launched a probe and say they tracked down the source of the March 2 threat. That led them to identify a suspect and make an arrest.
At the time this is being written there is no information about what might have motivated the making of the threat. The 17-year-old male is facing a charge of Threats to Bomb. That is a Class 5 felony which could mean incarceration of at least one year and possibly 10 if a conviction is obtained.
This young man's day in court has not yet arrived. Until then, he is entitled to the same presumption of innocence as anyone facing a criminal charge. And, like anyone else in a similar situation, he would be well advised to be working with an experienced defense attorney for the sake of his future.