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Saddle Brook PD: 'No Credible Threat' From Student's Snapchat Post, Teen Taken Into Custody

Saddle Brook High School/Middle School
Saddle Brook High School/Middle School Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO (Robert White)

UPDATE: A 17-year-old Saddle Brook High/Middle School senior athlete who posted a threat on Snapchat was taken into custody by police and suspended from school, Mayor Robert White said Thursday.

Police signed delinquency complaints against the boy -- whose identity wasn't disclosed because he's a minor -- charging him with making terroristic threats, cyber harassment and harassment.

He also was dismissed from his volunteer as a junior firefighter with the township, authorities told Daily Voice.

The action follows what the mayor called a "disturbing" Snapchat message that the boy posted on Monday.

"Immediately upon becoming aware of the disturbing post, police and school officials initiated a joint investigation and determined that, although there was no direct credible threat, extra precautions would be taken to ensure the safety of students and staff," White said Thursday.

Saddle Brook Detective Capt. John A. Zotollo said township police “immediately responded to the home of the student. The grandparents and mother were spoken to at length, as well as the student who made the post.

"No firearms were located in the home."

Zotollo said that the contention by some parents that the threat was accompanied by a photo of the boy with a gun was wrong.

Users apparently have been "obtaining prior, unrelated images and videos from this individual's social media accounts and reposting and recirculating them on social media as current," the captain said.

""The public must remember that all information posted and shared via social media regarding this incident is not accurate or current," he added.

A notice was emailed and posted on the Saddle Brook School District website informing parents and residents of the incident, the mayor said.

"School was in session as planned on Wednesday, November 6th with additional police presence at all district schools, which will continue once school re-opens next Monday," White said.

"The township and school district have a zero tolerance policy against any threats or acts of violence," he emphasized. "The police department and school officials will continue to closely monitor any threats made and hope to find a balance between addressing these threats and maintaining a calm environment for our students.

Zotollo, meanwhile, said: “Whether a threat is credible or not, parents and guardians must always educate and monitor their children regarding their presence on social media, as well as the consequences of posting inappropriate content."

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ORIGINAL STORY (Nov. 5) : Saddle Brook police Tuesday night emphasized that there was “no immediate credible threat” stemming from a disturbing Snapchat message posted by a high school senior.

“Additional police presence will be at the school [Wednesday] with the hope of providing peace of mind to parents or anyone concerned,” Detective Capt. John A. Zotollo said.

Parents worried about sending their children to the Saddle Brook High/Middle School on Wednesday after the student posted what they said was a threatening image on Snapchat.

The senior, who already was known to police, “posted on social media about decimating the place,” one parent said.

Another said the boy posted the threat accompanied by a photo of him with a gun.

Zotollo, who heads the police department’s detective bureau, said police “immediately responded to the home of the student and began an investigation.”

“The grandparents and mother were spoken to at length, as well as the student who made the post,” he said. “No firearms were located in the home.

“There is no immediate credible threat,” the captain emphasized.

Police have “assured school administrators that students and staff will be safe when school opens” on Wednesday, he said.

“Whether a threat is credible or not, parents and guardians must always educate and monitor their children regarding their presence on social media, as well as the consequences of posting inappropriate content,” Zotollo noted.

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