Police say bomb threats at Summit High hoaxes

Posted Monday, May. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Topics: Summits


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Two called-in bomb threat at Summit High School on May 8 and Thursday were investigated by police and dismissed as hoaxes, school district officials said.

On May 8, the caller, believed to be male, said he had planted a bomb in the cafeteria/commons area when he phoned 911 at about 2:35 p.m. The call went to the Arlington police first, because Summit is just inside Arlington city limits on Turner-Warnell Road. Arlington police notified the Mansfield school police department, who responded to the bomb call, said Mansfield school spokesman Richie Escovedo.

“No truth to it. At no time was anybody in danger,” Escovedo said, adding that the police “are trying to trace the call with the Arlington PD’s assistance.”

He said police immediately cleared people from the cafeteria area but decided not to evacuate the rest of school since the final bell was only minutes away, Escovedo said.

“The end of the day took care of the rest,” Jimmy Womack, the Mansfield school police chief, said his two officers stationed at Summit and other police officials from the department investigated.

“We had lots of personnel there,” Womack said, even though there were immediate suspicions about the veracity of the bomb threat. For one, the caller said he was still in the cafeteria, “hiding under a table,” but the 911 dispatcher and investigators noted a lack of background noise, Womack said.

“Dispatchers are trained to listen not just to the caller but to what’s going on in the background,” Womack said.

The Thursday call came in about 12:10 p.m. and resulted in the school being evacuated, which left students standing in the rain outside, Escovedo said. Students were allowed into the gym by 1:10 p.m. and were back in their classrooms by 1:30 p.m., he said.

“Based on the nature of the 911 call, it wasn’t anything that alarmed the (Arlington police),” Escovedo said. “We have to take calls seriously and ultimately the campus decided to evacuate. The Arlington Police Department is investigating the source.”

While students are encouraged to report any threats, “making false claims will not be taken lightly,” Escovedo said. “Making false threats is illegal.”

Robert Cadwallader, 817-390-7641 Twitter: @Kaddmann

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