A 15-year-old high school student has been arrested for allegedly threatening to bring a gun to his Florida school and kill multiple people.
Video of the arrest is quickly going viral and shows just how seriously police are taking such threats in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Bodycam footage shows the officers confronting the boy and what appears to be his mother at their Holly Hill home. The high school student is said to have written on the gaming platform Discord: “I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill seven people at a minimum.”
The boy went to Seabreeze High School and was using a fake name in the message. He was charged with threatening to discharge a destructive device, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. He was reportedly taken to juvenile jail.
Using the username FalconWarrior920, other users on the platform apparently told the boy not to make jokes about school shootings in light of recent events, but he did so anyway. The previously mentioned threatening comment was reported to the FBI and the username was traced to the boy’s Florida address.
“The name ‘Dalton Barnhart’ was fake, and the young man responsible for the comment insisted it was a joke. Joke or not, these types of comments are felonies under the law. After the mass violence we’ve seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements,” police said in a public statement about the arrest.
Conservative commentator Dana Loesch posted the video and said that it is the lack of enforcement of existing law that has allowed previous shootings to take place.
“LEO acted on existing FL law that criminalized written or digital credible threats to make this arrest. So-called ‘red flag’ laws had no part. It’s not an absence of law but a lack of follow-through and, as previously seen, enforcement that contributes to tragedy,” she tweeted.
LEO acted on existing FL law that criminalized written or digital credible threats to make this arrest. So-called “red flag” laws had no part. It’s not an absence of law but a lack of follow-through and, as previously seen, enforcement that contributes to tragedy. https://t.co/Iw3KXYtCjP
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) August 21, 2019
What is presumed to be the boy’s mother can be heard arguing with police in the arrest video.
“But he’s just a little kid playing a video game,” she says as the boy is put in handcuffs.
“These kids say stuff like that all the time,” the presumed mother said. “It is a joke to them.”
The police officers counter that a written statement threatening to cause harm to others is against the law.
Through tears, the mother argues, “He’s not one of these crazy people out there.”
“He would never do anything like that anyway,” she later adds.
She went on to argue that adults using the same video game systems as her son are influencing him, but police officers argued that the boy should not have video games if he is being influenced.
“You need a roof over your head, food and water. He doesn’t need the games,” one of the officers says.
He then adds, “These adults who are influencing [him] may have done that in the past, but guess what? They’re not in trouble today. He is because he made those statements.”
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