A man suspected to be involved in the series of bomb threats made to area schools was arrested Tuesday evening following coordination between local, state, and federal agencies, a press release said.
Nicholas John Frances Hall, 18, of 1385 Washington Road, Thomson, GA, has been identified as the subject responsible for the threats, including Tuesday’s threat against Trimble High School, a Washington County Sheriff’s Department release said. When approached by authorities, Hall admitted to placing the calls.
Between May 6 and May 11, multiple Washington, Athens, Morgan, Jackson and Noble County schools received calls from a subject reporting there was a bomb in the school.
During each of these threats, schools were locked down or evacuated and multiple law enforcement agencies with explosive detecting canines responded to search each of the buildings, the release said.
According to The Marietta Times, Hall admitted he was placing the calls to get his girlfriend out of school.
A warrant was obtained for the arrest of Hall for the charges of Inducing Panic, a second-degree felony, due to the threats to schools, and making terroristic threats, a third-degree felony, according to the release.
Investigators identified the social media platform that this individual was utilizing, the release said. Search warrants were obtained for that platform, which led investigators to Minersville, PA, where investigators executed a search warrant. Investigators learned that the person responsible for the threats had moved to Georgia.
Hall is currently in custody in McDuffie County, GA.
Tuesday, Trimble High School was evacuated by law enforcement for the bomb threat.
Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith told The Messenger that law enforcement, including the Sheriff’s Office, Glouster Police Department and Ohio University Police Department bomb-sniffing dogs cleared the building around 11:30 a.m. Glouster Fire Department also took part.
No bomb was detected, Smith said.
Bomb threats against schools are becoming increasingly common in Ohio, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives data.
According to 2016 ATF data, bomb threats against schools had increased 33% since 2014. Ohio was the state with the third most bomb threats, following Illinois and Texas.
Smith said his office will pursue local charges where possible. He added that bomb hoaxes place unnecessary strain on local first responders.
“It just ties up a lot of resources and induces panic, and causes a lot of stress on the police departments, the fire departments, even the FBI and the students who are missing school,” Smith said.