Police investigate online threat to local school
The Anna Police Department responded rapidly to an incident which involved a threat of violence at a local school.
The incident centered around a posting on Topix.com, which is an Internet forum.
The posting, dated Wednesday, Jan. 4, was addressed to staff at Anna-Jonesboro Community High School. The posting, as it appeared on line, read:
"HEY I WANTED TO INFORM ALL (AJ) HIGHSCHOOL STAFF You all Better Start Watching a Student Of yours A little Bit Better. Yes I mean it," the posting began.
The person who posted the item then named the student.
The posting continued: "I WAS Talking to someone and i was told that they heard that he is Planingn an attack on the SCHOOL WHEN IT COMES BACK IN SESSION HE SAID HE THINKS AJ NEEDS TO BE ANOTHER CONNETICUT HE SAID HE IS GOING TO GET ALL THE STAFF FIRST THAN THE STUDENT".
The Anna Police Department was notified of the posting by an administrator at the school. Anna Police Department Officer Bryan Watkins immediately began an investigation into the matter.
With the issuing of a subpoena and subsequent assistance from Topix.net, which is located in Palo Alto, Calif., and a local Internet service provider, authorities were able to determine the source of the item which was posted online.
The police department worked with the Union County state's attorney's office to obtain the subpoena.
Police reported that their investigation showed that a Dongola woman made up the accusations against the student that were posted on line.
The student, who has been cleared of any suspicion in the matter, was unaware that the posting had been made.
A report related to the incident was being completed by the police department. The report then would be made available to the state's attorney's office.
Anna Police Chief Dale Foster praised Watkins for the work which he did in connection with the case.
Authorities said that they want to make it clear that persons who post items such as those which led to the investigation in Union County can be identified, even though such postings are made anonymously.