Series of copycat school threats in Central Florida result in arrests, disruptions

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office says a district wrestling tournament was canceled on Friday, because a 14-year-old female student re-posted a picture threatening another school shooting on a social media account.

The Sheriff 's Office says the picture was originally made by a South Carolina teenager who was also arrested. It shows a masked person holding an assault rifle similar to the one in the South Florida school massacre on Wednesday, and had the words "i'm coming space coast watch out" written on it.

The Sheriff's Office says the 14-year-old Space Coast Junior/Senior High School student re-posted the image, which scared a lot of parents and students in the school's community. Sheriff Wayne Ivey says his agent tracked the student down at her Canaveral Groves home early this morning, and arrested her.

"This person for lack of a better term, played a very bad joke on an entire community" said Sheriff Ivey, who says the teen told his agent it was just a joke, "and then really, [she] had no remorse about it."

A juvenile court judge decided to release the 14-year-old student to her parents on Friday morning, after ruling there was not enough probable cause to charge her with "written threats to kill or do bodily harm" -- adding that the threat must be made to a specific person.  However, the sheriff says the state attorney is considering whether to re-file charges under another statute.

Authorities said copy cat threats were made across Central Florida in the last 24 to 48 hours, resulting in arrests and school disruptions. 

A 14-year-old student at Heritage Middle School in Deltona is facing criminal charges after he made statements in class about blowing up and shooting up his classroom, a Volusia County Sheriff's Office spokesman said.   In another Volusia County incident, deputies said a 20-year-old at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach posted a video to social media saying "i really wanna kill everybody at mainland high school."

"We are constantly trolling social media for these threats," said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.  "And guess what? We're smarter than you. We're going to find you, and you're going to find the sheriff and his deputies on your front-door steps arresting you."

In Orange County, Wekiva High School was placed on lockdown after a student there spotted another student off campus with a weapon.

The student was arrested before school and now faces both disciplinary action at school and criminal charges, said Shari Bobinski, with the Orange County Public Schools.  A social media post that mentioned the school was also investigated but deemed not credible.

In Gilchrist County, the entire school district canceled school for the day after they say the local sheriff couldn't determine the credibility of an email threat received late Thursday night.

And in Lake County, the superintendent excused Friday absences and increased law enforcement presence after threatening messages mentioned seven local schools.