A Michigan teen residing in Sterling Heights, a suburb just north of Detroit, has been arrested and is now facing charges of terrorism after being accused of making threatening calls to several sites of school shootings across the country. The Sterling Heights Police Department in Michigan has issued a two-count felony warrant for the teen, 17-year-old Dylan Alexander Clark, after he allegedly made several harassing phone calls from his place of residence in Sterling Heights to schools across the United States where students had previously been the victims of shooting massacres, including Sandy Hook, Columbine, Arapahoe, and Virginia Tech.
The majority of the threatening calls allegedly made by the Michigan teen to the school shooting sites were reported on Feb. 11, when Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, received calls from a blocked number. These were reported to have been from a young male who claimed he was a relative of the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, who in mid-December 2012, fatally shot 20 children in the school, along with six of the adult staff members at the school.
The caller to Sandy Hook Elementary then reportedly proceeded to list the names of all of the children who had died in the 2012 shooting incident. A call made to Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, on the same day was also allegedly made by a young male, who claimed over the phone that he had plans to burn the school down. Other suspicious and threatening calls were made to Virginia Tech around the same time as the other calls, and also to Columbine High School in Colorado back in January, but police were not able to uncover any further information regarding these incidents.
After a quick and thorough investigation by the Sterling Heights Police Department, and by Police in Monroe, Connecticut, near Sandy Hook Elementary School, the suspect was found and taken into custody on Wednesday. He was arrested and is now being held on a $50,000 cash bond. If he is released on bond, he has been ordered to wear a GPS tether and not to use the Internet under any circumstances. At the time of his arrest, the suspect’s technology was confiscated by police, including a laptop, a Kindle device, cell phones, and a notebook. If not released on bond, Clark is now facing charges of false report or threat of terrorism, acts which are punishable by up to 20 years in prison. His preliminary hearing is set for March 31.
As a result of their investigation, police determined that the Michigan teen is not enrolled in school himself at this point in time, and also has no apparent connection to any persons involved in the past school shootings across the country. Police also said that after conducting the investigation, Clark was the only person they could ultimately identify in connection with the threatening calls that had been made to the school shooting sites. They reported that he was compliant and cooperative with his arrest.
By Laura Clark
Detroit Free Press