POLICE BEAT

No evacuation after third bomb threat at Bangor elementary school

Posted May 16, 2011, at 10:38 p.m.
Last modified May 17, 2011, at 8:48 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Just days after written bomb threats prompted back-to-back evacuations at James F. Doughty School, a third threat was discovered in a school restroom.

This time, however, the school was not evacuated.

That’s because police and school officials were able to determine who the culprit was, Bangor police Lt. Jeff Millard said Monday night. The suspect is being dealt with by Officer Myron Warner, who is a school resource officer and a detective, Millard said.

Monday’s bomb threat was reported at 10:53 a.m., according to a law incident summary report obtained Monday from the Penobscot County Regional Communications Center.

Millard said that it was not clear in a police report about Monday’s incident if the suspect has been linked to bomb threats that prompted the school’s evacuation on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

No bomb was found in either of last week’s searches by members of the Bangor Police Department, who brought bomb-detecting dogs to the middle school.

The threat on Wednesday was discovered in a boys bathroom. It was reported to police at 1:25 p.m. and the school’s students and staff were sent to nearby Vine Street School until the building was deemed safe at 2:25 p.m. Students were able to return to the school in time to board their buses home, Edwards said.

Thursday’s threat, found in a girls bathroom, was reported at 1:19 p.m. Superintendent Betsy Webb said students again were sent to Vine Street and were allowed to return to Doughty School in time to board their buses.

This time, however, students were not allowed to retrieve their belongings before leaving, with the exception of those who had keys to their homes inside. Those students were delivered home slightly later, she said.

Because students could not access their belongings, Thursday’s after-school activities were canceled, she said.

Webb said Wednesday’s threat occurred late in the school day and that parents were not immediately notified. Letters notifying them of Wednesday’s incident already had been sealed in envelopes when Thursday’s threat occurred.

Webb issued an alert through the school’s IRIS, or Immediate Response Information System, which enables school officials to issue hundreds of voice, text and email notifications simultaneously.

Webb said last week that the threats were “very unfortunate, very disruptive” and that school officials were working closely with city police to identify who was behind them.

As a precaution, members of the Bangor Police Department who serve as school resource officers were at Doughty School on Friday.

Bangor police said last week that making a bomb threat is a Class C felony. Webb said students who engage in making bomb threats are subject to various levels of discipline, including expulsion by the school committee.

In her alert to parents, Webb asked students, parents or others who might have information about who was involved in the threats to contact Doughty School Principal Robert MacDonald at 941-6220.

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