US teen jailed for school's daylight-saving cock-up
12 days' chokey for bomb threat log error
A Pennsylvania student was held in jail for 12 days after a bomb threat recorded by a school hot line service was wrongly attributed to him, Fox News reports.
Fifteen-year-old Cody Webb, of Greensburg, "called a school district hot line to listen to a recorded message about school delays at 3:12am EDT on 11 March", his mobile phone records later revealed. The next morning, school officials discovered said bomb threat logged at 3:17am.
The powers that be therefore concluded that "Webb had made the threat because they also found a record of his phone call", the lad's attorney Tim Andrews explained. The school's principal confirmed his guilt by asking Webb for his cell phone number later that morning and then quickly declared: "We got him. We got him."
Webb refused to confess, was arrested "on a felony charge of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and related misdemeanor counts" and thrown into Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Centre for 12 days until the truth was revealed.
In fact, because the school had not reset the clock on the hot line, which continued to show Eastern Standard Time, officials and police failed to spot that the bomb threat had actually come in at 4:17am - more than an hour after Webb's innocent call.
Andrews explained: "The district attorney subpoenaed the cell phone records, and it didn't take more than a minute to see the times didn't match."
Webb was finally released "when a state trooper failed to show up at another hearing". The charges were dropped on 27 March.
Andrews, unsuprisingly, added that "the boy's family is considering a law suit against the school district or police for false arrest". Webb said of his ordeal: "I wasn't going to admit to something I didn't do. Me and God know I didn't do it." ®
WMD oh yeah!
Yes, a pipe bomb seems to be considered a WMD, according to the local custom of good-spirited hyperbole.
In 1998, McVeigh (him of the resolutely angry white supremacist wing) wrote: (http://lists.jammed.com/IWAR/1998/05/0053.html)
> I recently read of an arrest in New York City where possession of a mere pipe bomb was charged as possession of a "weapon of mass destruction." If a two-pound pipe bomb is a "weapon of mass destruction," then what do people think that a 2,000-pound steel-encased bomb is? I find it ironic, to say the least, that one of the aircraft that could be used to drop such a bomb on Iraq is dubbed "The Spirit of Oklahoma." <
So there you go. You know, Saddam had a few of those pipe bombs stashed away, and they are still looking for them.
Recent events have sadly shown that guns, traditionally considered as safe as toothpicks, are more dangerous than WMDs. It's not WMDs that kill people, it's people who kill people.
Not enough brains, too much authority
Another example of people in power without an adequate processor in their head.
Is this the typical way threats to national security are handled in the States? I think that the whole attitude is heading towards a "guilty until proven innocent", " Guantanamo" style treatment of ANYONE suspected of such acts even before the case is investigated. That is very worrying. Is this a legal? Or is it terrorism?
Not in the free countries.
A Non. UK