A 13-year-old male from Villa Park has been accused of threatening another juvenile and his family, authorities said.
The juvenile appeared at a detention hearing Jan. 18, and Judge Demetrios Panoushis ordered he be detained until at least his next court appearance. The juvenile has been charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.
On Jan. 17, Villa Park police became aware of an alleged threat made by a juvenile directed at the victim and the victim’s family. During a Snapchat group video, a verbal argument between the juvenile and the victim allegedly escalated at which time the juvenile made threatening statements.
He allegedly said he would “bring a gun to school … and [was] going to finish what he started.” Knowing that the victim’s mother stays at the house, he said he was “going to spray the house” and knowing that the victim’s younger brother goes to the YMCA after school, he said he would “get him there,” according to the release.
An investigation into the matter led authorities to the juvenile, who was taken into custody later that day, according to the release.
“My office takes any threat of violence directed at a school extremely seriously and anyone suspected of such behavior will be investigated and charged accordingly, regardless of the accused’s age,” DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Robert Berlin said in the statement. “Threats are not harmless jokes or an excuse to blow off steam during an argument. They have a chilling effect on the victims, particularly young victims.”
“We have seen an alarming increase in the number of threats made that end up being school related,” Villa Park Chief of Police Michael Rivas said in the release. “We take all school threats seriously and we will investigate all such incidents vigorously and completely. Schools should be safe spaces where students are free to learn and grow without the fear of violence.
“The policing community in DuPage County is well trained in Restorative Justice. The threat of violence does not always work in a restorative model as victims of violence need to know there is full accountability for the actions of the alleged accuser. We thank the school system for putting trust in the Villa Park Police Department to handle such a serious matter.”
The juvenile’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 9.