D.C. police arrest teen in connection with school bomb threats

Similar threats were reported Thursday in Prince George’s County at Suitland, Laurel, Gwynn Park and Crossland high schools, police and school officials said. School security and police were investigating.

“Laurel High School was placed on lockdown as a precaution,” Prince George’s County Public Schools said in a statement. “Students at the other schools remained in their classrooms while the buildings were searched.”

In Arlington, Yorktown High School was evacuated after an anonymous telephone threat, police said.

On Wednesday, eight schools, including D.C. public high schools and charter schools, received threats. Police searched school buildings with bomb technicians and dogs trained to smell explosive substances.

Dustin Sternbeck, a police spokesman, said a youth from Southeast Washington was arrested and charged with making terrorist threats as a suspect in the Wednesday incidents. His name was not released, and it was not immediately clear whether he is being charged as an adult or as a juvenile.

Sternbeck said police have tied the teenager “to several incidents” that occurred Wednesday afternoon. Police have not yet concluded whether the youth may be connected to a similar threat on Tuesday at Dunbar High School during a visit by second gentleman Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Harris.

“The investigation is ongoing as we explore his potential connection to the remaining cases, including the one with the second gentleman,” Sternbeck said.

Authorities did not divulge a possible motive for the calls or discuss the investigation that led to the youth.

Police scrambled Wednesday as a succession of bomb threats were called into four public and four private high schools in Northwest, Northeast and Southeast Washington. Most of the calls were made between noon and 1 p.m.; two came in after 2 p.m.

Sternbeck said all the calls were similar and involved threats that an explosive device would detonate within a specified time frame. Police had previously said the call that came into Dunbar on Tuesday during Emhoff’s visit indicated that people had 10 minutes to leave.

Justin Wm. Moyer, Katie Mettler, Rachel Weiner, Perry Stein and Nicole Asbury contributed to this report.

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