Saturday, 18 May 2024

Fake bomb causes school evacuation

LAKEPORT – Students at Terrace Middle School found themselves being evacuated from their classrooms on Friday when a classmate was found with what looked like a bomb but which turned out to be a facsimile.

Lakeport Police Officer Jarvis Leishman, who is the school resource officer for the Lakeport Unified School District, said the fake device was found before the end of school Friday – which also happened to be the last day of school before the beginning of summer vacation.

A seventh grade boy had the object – made from a 12-ounce water bottle, a film canister and wires that were duct-taped together – in his backpack, said Leishman.

The boy and his friends reportedly play a game in which he planned to use the object. Leishman said the boy took it to school to show his buddies. “I don't think he really intended to scare anybody.”

Leishman said he was on his way to the school when the object was found, and fellow Lakeport Police Officer Jim Bell arrived before him to check out the situation.

Students were evacuated to the school's sports fields while the fake bomb was checked, said Leishman. It did look like a bomb, although “a poorly made one,” he said.

Bell looked it over and determined that it was a fake, Leishman said. The object felt heavy, and it turned out that the boy had filled it with dirt, which Bell confirmed after he opened it up and dumped it out.

Once the situation was determined to be resolved, the students were called back into their classrooms, roll call was taken and the children were sent home, said Leishman.

Although it was a fake, the boy may face some repercussions. “I cited him for possession of a facsimile bomb,” said Leishman.

He said the case was sent to the county's juvenile probation department, where they'll decide how to proceed.

Leishman said cases where fake bombs are prosecuted require a malicious intent, and he didn't believe that the child had intended any harm.

At the end of his first year as school resource officer, Leishman said this is the only incident of this kind to happen during his time with the school district.

There were, however, seven expulsions during the school year for students who made “active shooter” type threats against others in the district, he said.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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