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Police charge teen girl in false gun report at Concord High

  • Bystanders watch authorities search Concord High School from Warren Street on Tuesday night, April 30, 2013. Authorities were responding to incident where a potentially armed person was reported at Concord High School.

    Bystanders watch authorities search Concord High School from Warren Street on Tuesday night, April 30, 2013. Authorities were responding to incident where a potentially armed person was reported at Concord High School.

  • Bystanders watch authorities search Concord High School from Warren Street on Tuesday night, April 30, 2013. Authorities were responding to incident where a potentially armed person was reported at Concord High School.

A 16-year-old Concord High School student who said that another student in April had threatened her with a gun on school property was charged yesterday afternoon with a misdemeanor count of making a false report to law enforcement.

She will be arraigned within the next week at Concord’s juvenile court. The male student, who was charged the night of the incident with felony criminal threatening, was cleared about four hours after his arrest when the police determined the story was made up. His cooperation with law enforcement that night helped poke holes in the girl’s story, said Concord police Lt. Timothy O’Malley.

The girl’s arrest took six weeks because the police were assessing the costs of responding to the incident, which was about $10,000, O’Malley said. The police will seek to recover that money, he added.

Just after 7:30 p.m. April 30, the Concord police responded to a report that a Concord High student had threatened another with a gun. At the time, the school was occupied by people participating in a play rehearsal, band practices and a cooking class, and several students were making a horror film. The school was evacuated and went into lockdown.

The Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit also responded, and the area outside Concord High School was blocked off for three hours. Rumors swirled on the internet as to what was happening inside the school.

That night, the girl shared her story with the Monitor, saying the male student pulled a gun on her that evening. She said he threatened to shoot her and then ran away.

The police took the male student into custody later that evening at his home. After the scene at the school was cleared, law enforcement took him back into the school to question him on the girl’s story.

“He was able to point out certain things that made the detectives realize there (were) holes in her story, and it ultimately helped lead to the conclusion she’d fabricated (it),” O’Malley said.

After the male student was cleared, however, O’Malley told the Monitor the police believed they had probable cause to arrest him when they did because the girl’s story seemed credible both the first and second time she told it.

Since the girl is a juvenile, details of her court appearance will not be made public. O’Malley said he realizes many people are upset with the magnitude of this incident, but the goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation. Jail time is not impossible, but O’Malley said he doesn’t think it will be likely.

When reached yesterday, the girl declined to comment.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or
kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

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