CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 16-year-old boy was due in court Saturday, after he allegedly tweeted a threat to blow up the gym at Kings Park High School in Suffolk County over a heated sports rivalry.
The threat prompted school officials to bar all students from the two schools’ basketball game.
Steven Taggert of Islip stands charged with falsely reporting an incident. He was arrested Friday.
School officials called Suffolk County police after logging onto Twitter and discovering a tweet, allegedly by Taggert, in which he claimed to have obtained a bomb to blow up the “Kingdome” – the colloquial name for the Kings Park High School gymnasium — during the game.
The Kings Park basketball team was playing his school, Islip High School, that night.
Students had been posting provocative comments on Twitter for some time, sparked by the rivalry between Kings Park and Islip high schools, police said.
Following the threat, Suffolk County Sgt. James Murphy said Kings Park ultimately decided not to let any students into the subsequent basketball game.
Taggert’s attorney, James Polk, said his client is a volunteer junior firefighter in his spare time.
“I’m anticipating a favorable disposition,” Polk said. “There are several mitigating factors. I believe this incident was fairly overblown.”
Taggert was due to appear for an arraignment later Saturday at Suffolk County First District Court in Central Islip.
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