Riverside Police Department Press Release

For Immediate Release

Date Friday, April 20, 2007
Contact Steven Frasher, Press Information Officer
Phone (951) 826-5147

Student arrested for explosive prank

Riverside, Ca- A 14-year-old male 8th grade student of Amelia Earhart Middle School was arrested last night for setting of a minor explosion that caused the evacuation of the school at approximately 12:25 p.m., Thursday, April 19.

Information led investigators to the student’s home where police found additional plastic soda pop bottles, pool chemicals and materials matching the explosive set off in a wastebasket in the school’s outdoor common area earlier in the day. The juvenile suspect was arrested at his home about 10:15 p.m. Thursday on charges of possession of an explosive device and assault with a caustic chemical.

According to School Resource Office Karla Beler, the suspect apparently made no connection between his action and other school violence events or anniversaries occurring this week. The suspect is in custody at Juvenile Hall.

“The arrest highlights the seriousness with which Riverside Police and school officials take any threat posed to the safety of children in our schools,” Chief of Police Russ Leach said.

The incident demonstrated excellent emergency cooperation between the Riverside Police Department, Riverside Fire Department and Riverside Unified School District, said East Neighborhood Policing Center Sgt. Val Graham, Incident Commander.

Officials also noted the exemplary and orderly response by school staff, students and parents to yesterday’s incident.