Home Police, Fire & Courts Toms River Student, 18, Charged After Social Media Threat Prompts School Lockdown

Toms River Student, 18, Charged After Social Media Threat Prompts School Lockdown

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Handcuffs (Shorebeat File Photo/ banspy/ Flickr
Handcuffs (Shorebeat File Photo/ banspy/ Flickr)

A student from Toms River was arrested and charged with creating false public alarm following a social media post that led to a lockdown of Toms River High School East on Friday.

Frank Smentkowski, 18, was charged by township detectives after the incident, which stemmed from Smentkowski posting a photograph of another student on social media with a caption alluding to the school being “shot up,” said police spokesman Ralph Stocco.

Searches were conducted at the school and no weapons were located, “and there is no reason to believe he has any access to weapons,” Stocco said.

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Stocco said that it appears that Smentkowski made the social media post “without thoroughly contemplating the consequences of his actions.”

Detectives do not believe there was ever a credible threat posed to anyone, and the incident was an instance of poor judgment being used. Authorities, however, acted as if the threat was credible until their investigation revealed that is was not.

“We never want to take a chance when there is even the remotest possibility of danger to the community,” Stocco said . “The school staff and students are also to be commended for their cooperation during this incident.  All protocols that are practiced in the event of serious incidents on school property were followed and had this been a legitimate threat we are confident that all appropriate measures were implemented.”