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Special Police Officer IDs Brooklyn Boy, 15, Who Threatened To Blow Up Lyndhurst High School

Lyndhurst High School was locked down and all 852 students, along with teachers and staff, were escorted out by police following the call.
Lyndhurst High School was locked down and all 852 students, along with teachers and staff, were escorted out by police following the call. Photo Credit: LYNDHURST PD / Google Street View

A sharp-eyed Lyndhurst special police officer nabbed a 15-year-old boy from Brooklyn who authorities said made a 911 call threatening to blow up the township high school.

A Bergen County communications dispatcher told Lyndhurst police shortly after noon on Oct. 7 that an unknown caller using anonymizing technology claimed there was a bomb inside the high school, Detective Lt. Vincent Auteri said.

The school was locked down and all 852 students, along with teachers and staff, were escorted out by Lyndhurst police.

The Bergen County sheriff’s bomb and K-9 squads checked inside and out and didn’t find anything dangerous on the premises, Auteri said.

While all this was going on, Special Law Enforcement Officer III William Peer noticed a boy he didn’t recognize “casually walking in front of the school near the area of the gymnasium,” the lieutenant said.

Thinking it odd that the boy wasn’t with other students, Peer questioned him.

The teen told him he was there to visit a Lyndhurst High School student whom he’d recently met playing an online video game, Auteri said.

Detectives matched information that Peer obtained from the boy with a report from a crossing guard who’d also noticed the youngster.

The boy apparently took public transportation and arrived in Lyndhurst around 11 a.m., Auteri said. He hung out with a group of students, then went off on his own when they returned to the school for the afternoon session, the lieutenant said.

That’s when he made the call, Auteri said.

Detective Tom McSweeney questioned the teen, who admitted making the call and was subsequently served with a delinquency complaint charging him with creating a false public alarm, the lieutenant said.

The boy was released to his father pending a closed-door hearing in the Family Part of Superior Court in Hackensack, he said.

Police Chief Richard Jarvis praised Peer’s “quick thinking and alertness.”

The specials program is relatively new, but the chief said the incident serves as “a great example” of how well its’ already working.

Auteri cited the assistance of the sheriff’s specialized units, the county prosecutor’s cyber crimes and intelligence units and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations’ Newark Field Office.

The lieutenant also said township police “remain grateful for our strong working relationship with the Lyndhurst school district.”

He also thanked the community for its “support and understanding during the incident” and “patience throughout the investigation.” 

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