Volusia County, FL – A 16-year-old high school student was arrested on Thursday after he confessed to making one of several hoax threats that have disrupted schools recently throughout Volusia County.
Austin Holt posted a message on Instagram on Thursday that said, “guys sry i didn’t make it by 11 i gotchu tomorrow 4/21 school shooting tell everyone.” With that information, deputies were able to identify, find, and arrest the 16-year-old on Thursday afternoon. Holt is a student at Atlantic High School in Port Orange.
That Instagram message was just the latest in a string of threats to schools in the county. The most recent one was written on a bathroom wall at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange. There was also a threat written on a bathroom wall at University High School in Orange City and one was sent through Crime Stoppers and directed at New Smyrna Beach Middle School. Law enforcement presence has been stepped up at the schools as a precaution and VCSO deputies are investigating the threats on a case-by-case basis.
“It’s not cute, it’s not clever, and if we identify the individuals responsible for any of these threats, they aren’t going to like the consequences,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Thursday. “We’ve all had enough. To anyone contemplating risking his or her future by threatening a school and catching a felony, I’d suggest finding other pursuits.”
“Making threats against schools is a waste of resources and is emotionally upsetting for parents and students,” Superintendent of Schools Tom Russell said. “We will not tolerate these crimes being committed against our schools and will take strong disciplinary action for this behavior. We are very grateful to law enforcement for our continued partnership.”
Holt’s being charged with making a false report of a school shooting. He’s been placed on home detention and will appear before a judge on Friday morning, April 21.
Photo courtesy ThomasDeco and Shutterstock.com.
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.