Actions have consequences, and Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco says he is proving it to teens committing crimes in the community. It’s causing kids to feel unsafe in their schools and in their neighborhood.
Thursday, the sheriff’s office released new video of two teens chasing and terrorizing a 9-year-old girl. It’s an update to an attempted kidnapping 10News first told you about on Wednesday.
In the video shows the 9-year-old walking home. The sheriff says she starts running in fear for her life as one teen chases her and an adult, 18-year-old Drew Bretnall records video of it.
The guys now claim it had been a joke saying they were trying to recreate a Japanese cartoon, or 'anime'.
“He's a delusional adult. He's an absolutely delusional adult. He's delusional in the fact he thought this was funny. He's delusional in the fact he thought there wasn't going to be consequences. Maybe he'll have a little scared-straight when he walks inside the Pasco Sheriff’s Office jail.
Sheriff Nocco says they're waiting for a judge's order to arrest Bretnall and his 17-year-old friend for causing fear of imminent harm, that’s a misdemeanor and they could spend up to a year behind bars.
The other crime concerning the sheriff and the school district: social media threats from students claiming they'll shoot up their schools. The district says there have been 3 in the past week, 10 in the past month, and so far 3 kids arrested.
The sheriff says what some consider pranks aren't so funny, when they're creating real fear and keeping kids out of classes.
The district tells 10News that nearly half the students, 390 kids, at Stewart Middle School in Zephyrhills didn't show up Thursday after rumors spread on social media Wednesday that 2 students were planning some violent acts. Deputies stepped up security. It’s the latest school threat the sheriff says is taking very seriously.
“I got really nervous, when I saw all the cops because I didn't know what was going on,” says Stewart Middle School 6th grader Shaunna Yater. Yater tells 10News that she had been scared to come to school not knowing if she'd be safe.
Investigators say a couple girls overheard 2 boys plotting and posted this on Snapchat: “Alert: 7th/8th-grade boy and his little brother says he is going to shoot up Stewart Middle tomorrow - stay safe guys.”
“For those kids who think I'm just going to post something on social media and nothing's going to happen, no. Something is going to happen. You're going to be arrested,” says Sheriff Nocco.
The sheriff says they're still investigating that threat. Right now, the kid's mom isn't cooperating.
The district says they knew concerns were spreading on social media Wednesday night, even alarming parents at Pasco High and Lacoochee Elementary, but didn't send a call out to parents until Thursday.
“We did not do anything specifically last night because the investigation was underway. We couldn't really say anything,” says district spokesperson, Linda Cobbe.
“That's scary. You don't ever know when you send your kids to school. Next time, I won't be sending my daughter,” says Mother Melissa Yater.
It's becoming an alarming end of the year trend...
A Ridgewood High student is under arrest for allegedly telling his Snapchat followers that he'd shoot up his school.
2 John Long Middle schoolers are in trouble for similar threats.
“He was trying to recruit them for the last day of school to have a school shooting. Words have meaning. There's consequences,” says Sheriff Nocco.
“They need to be taught a lesson, because a lot of them are immature about it. They think it's funny, and it's not a joke,” says father Mike Yater.
The increasing threats are prompting the district to consider stepping up its punishment from a 10-day suspension to permanent expulsion.
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