FREDERICK COUNTY

13-Year-Old Said Threats Against Middle School Were a ‘Joke': Authorities

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A 13-year-old in Frederick County, Maryland, admitted to creating a fake Instagram account and making false threats against a middle school this week, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

The teen boy confessed to making the threats against Ballenger Creek Middle School in Frederick, authorities said. They did not specify what was said in the threats.

The incident comes amid a rash of threats against other schools. Overall, authorities have said these threats are not credible.

The teen in the Frederick County case denied having any plans to shoot anyone, and detectives didn't find any weapons in a search of his bedroom. The teen said he saw a "challenge" on the social media app TikTok and then created a fake online identity and posted threats, the sheriff's office said.

The teen has not yet been charged in the case, but authorities said charges are forthcoming. Those charges will include, at minimum, threats of a mass attack, the sheriff's office said.

“Although this particular school threat has been investigated, we will still have an increased police presence at the school and throughout the Frederick County school system today," said Lt. Jason Deater, the school resource officer commander for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff's office said it would bring in additional deputies, community deputies and detectives to patrol Frederick County schools. People should expect to see more patrol checks on all schools in the county.

Anyone with information about any other school threats, including who might be making these threats, is asked to call 301-600-1046 or make an anonymous report via email to FCSOtips@frederickcountymd.gov.

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