While Tuesday morning at DeSoto ISD got off to a rocky start, thanks to some stellar investigative work by DeSoto Police Department and a team effort with DPS and Mansfield ISD, the suspect responsible for the chaos is in custody.
According to DeSoto Police Department, the individual who issued threats of violence against DeSoto ISD’s Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy in Tuesday morning’s 9-1-1 call is in custody and charged with with issuing a False Alarm or Report.
A false alarm or report is a State of Texas Jail Felony. The individual is currently being held in a local Juvenile Detention Center. The threat caused a disruption in classes at four DeSoto ISD campuses and resulted in police officers from DeSoto, Glenn Heights, Lancaster, and Cedar Hill Police Departments and also from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office being sent to secure those four school campuses until the threat was ruled out. Not only was the school day disrupted, but the threat created concerns, questions and even panic in some parents that discovered the situation on social media.
Call Originated In Mansfield
DeSoto Police detectives worked closely with Texas DPS investigators to identify the caller’s phone carrier and were able to determine the location in Mansfield where the call originated. DeSoto PD and Texas DPS investigators worked with Mansfield ISD investigators to identify a possible juvenile suspect. They then confirmed the person responsible for the threats after visiting the address to speak with the juvenile and the juvenile’s family.
DeSoto’s Assistant Police Chief Ryan Jesionek praised the teamwork that led to the quick arrest. He also reflected on the impact Tuesday’s incident had on the community. “Even though the call turned out to be a hoax, the disruption that this individual caused in our community was very real. Many in our community are left feeling at risk, and a juvenile is now being held at a detention center. These are very real consequences for everyone.”
“DeSoto ISD is deeply appreciative of the DeSoto Police Department and all of the agencies that worked closely with them to keep our students safe and for the great job that they did to track down the caller so quickly who made these threats,” said DeSoto ISD Superintendent Dr. Usamah Rodgers. “All of us at DeSoto ISD are comforted to know that our friends in the local law enforcement community have our backs and are looking out for our safety and well-being.”
DeSoto ISD students and family members who may need assistance processing Tuesday’s events may reach out to DeSoto ISD Counseling Services at 214-223-6666 ext 8214.
Remember there is an app to make reporting suspicious activity easier, iWatchTexas is a partnership between communities and law enforcement for the public to report suspicious activity in the state, including criminal, terroristic, or school safety-related threats. Governor Abbott urges Texans to “utilize iWatchTexas to report nearby suspicious activity to help our law enforcement quickly and effectively respond to any criminal, terroristic, or school safety threats. If you see something, say something and together we can protect our children, teachers, and communities.”