Sullivan County resident Steven Kelly, of Narrowsburg, was arrested on Friday, Feb. 2 for allegedly making threats against the Sullivan West School District in Jeffersonville.
According to Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty, deputies received information shortly before 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1, Kelly had made posts on social media expressing his dissatisfaction with the school district.
In his posts, he allegedly referred to a gun. He had also made verbal statements at his place of employment about “shooting everyone," Chaboty said.
Upon receiving the reported threats, sheriff’s detectives worked through the night with the District Attorney’s Office on the investigation.
Chaboty said Kelly was apprehended before school opened in the morning. A BB gun was recovered from his home at the time of arrest.
Kelly denied having any firearms and none were found, Chaboty said.
He was charged with making a threat of mass harm and released without bail under current state law.
The Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office filed an emergency order against Kelly that prohibits him from obtaining a firearm. An order of protection has also been issued prohibiting him from school grounds, Chaboty said.
On Friday, Feb. 2, after Kelly’s arrest, as a precaution, extra Deputy Sheriffs were sent to the school to meet students and staff as they arrived.
“We worked closely with the school district and District Attorney’s Office to address this matter quickly and efficiently”, said Sheriff Mike Schiff. “The investigation is complete and it does not appear that there was any danger to the students or staff at Sullivan West.
Now, the Sheriff’s Office and the school district are contending with a new problem – misinformation about the incident on social media platforms.
“Superintendent Kathleen Bressler made two proper and timely notifications to the parents and students of the school district last week”, said the Sheriff. “There is no basis for the current rumors and speculation that persist among social media users," he said.
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