West Ottawa student arrested for bomb threat

(UPDATED: Thursday 6:46 p.m.) A 16-year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly calling in a bomb threat from West Ottawa High School.
Tribune Staff
Jan 30, 2014


Police said the student made the threat shortly after arriving at school Thursday morning.

He faces a felony charge and is lodged at the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center. The boy's name will not be released because of his age, police said.

Authorities say the suspect may be involved in other threats using a telecommunication device.

Students were evacuated from the school Thursday morning after officials were alerted to the threat. West Ottawa Public Schools officials notified 911 at about 7:40 a.m. after receiving information about a possible explosive device at the high school’s south building, said Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

Students were sent to other buildings and the high school was put on lockdown.

Police did a complete sweep of the building and “no harmful device or suspicious packages were found,” Bennett said. No one was hurt during the incident, he said.

The Michigan State Police bomb squad and K-9 units assisted at the scene.



Former Grandhavenite

Sometimes I wonder about the utility of taking every bomb threat 100% seriously. If some kid who doesn't want to take a test that day or whatever has the ability to shut down the school and impact the day of thousands of people by making a single phone call or email, it's pretty clear that bad behavior DOES pay off in this case.

On the other hand, I don't see what choice they have except to treat it as a credible threat and evacuate the building. They can't just be like, "Meh, it's probably just another hoax" because if it turns out to be real they would be drawn and quartered if they hadn't evacuated the building. I've always wondered about the logic of bomb threats anyway. If some terrorist really did want to blow up the building and kill a lot of people- why would they give them any advance warning?

I don't know what the answer is here. I guess it's best to just keep handling it the way they do and treat every threat as credible, but it's frustrating to watch the hoaxer pull strings and make us dance like marionettes.


The answer would seem to be: find the one who initiated the hoax, prosecute them if possible, and incarcerate them by all means. I would want my kid out of the building if there was a threat. Just sayin'.

Former Grandhavenite

Definitely. Ideally they would make the perpetrator reimburse folks somehow for lost time and money, although how that would work would be tricky.


you are making a bigdeal out of this. Not everything a young person does deserves incarceration! Get off your high horse


Oh, so it's OK to call in fake bomb threats and ramp up the fear level for a citizenship that's already afraid enough to give up liberty for ineffective protection?

There are consequences for such stupid and foolish behavior. Get off your drug-induced stupor! Look around you!


No calling in a bomb is not ok.. Over reaction and fear mongering "There are consequences for such stupid and foolish behavior" You sum it up with your own words "stupid and Foolish behavior. You have nothing to fear but fear its self... Maybe you should get off your drug-induced stupor and stop and look around you… however you may not like what you see in the mirror.


You're right, I don't like what I see in the mirror....he's old and wrinkly, needs a shave. However that has nothing to do with stupid, antisocial behavior such as was exhibited here.

What do YOU suggest be done with someone who is this clueless and unable or unwilling to understand the consequences of their actions? Do you think we should wake him up now, or wait until later after he does something really bad? You tell me.

Doing nothing has proven to be pretty ineffective, so what are the alternatives as you see it?


Do nothing? Jail, juvenile records, put teenagers in the system, cause probation violations, etc., how does that help? It is a scientific fact that juveniles often make poor choices. They should be held accountable but really, not for the rest of their lives! I suggest counseling, fines, lots of community service, etc., but a record that carries through life, no. And yes, I am aware of the difference between a 16 yr old juvenile and a 17-18 year old potential adult.


I was responding to Sirhansalot who seemed to imply with his comment to BD that we were all overreacting to this little "prank".


Maybe it is those evil, shirking, good for nothing teachers looking for a way to not have to go to work! (sarcasm)


They caught him - let's see what they do with him - my guess, he's disturbed/disadvantaged/confused/mentally ill/ whatever - NOTHING that our tax dollars can't cure!

Former Grandhavenite

I'm sticking with my theory that he didn't want to take a test of some sort. Either that, or it's a political protest regarding the situation in Ukraine. Either way, I hope he gets it together and this isn't the start of some massive downward spiral.


I bet he once chewed his sandwich into the shape of a gun when he was 7.

Barry Soetoro

That makes a good case to train these kids on automatic assault rifles with 50 round magazines before they reach the third grade.


Ted Nugent wanna be!




There is only one answer for this kid. No news broadcast but to say we caught the person and the next line should read he has been found guilty of a bomb threat and will be place in a 6 foot by 6 foot cell for the rest of his life until he dies. Food will slide through a hole in the wall. He will have the rest of his dying days to think about what his phone call will cost him. Dont have to worry about a guard to watch him he will have four concert walls to lock him in. After a few people are locked up (the lock is welded shut) this way you would be surprised on how crime rate will go down. Either by people thinking about not wanting to be locked in a concret room never leaving the room, or the fact the the never get parole to commit the crimes again. Something has to be done with the crimmal has more rights then someone out working providing for the families


the kid is 16, glad you weren't stupid at that age. Bring back the death penalty, that way you won't have to keep him locked up so long. fixitman for mayor, again!


Well Bigdeal that is our problem we are not fixing stupid. We allow it to keep happening. If we make the pentaly so bad people will not try to get their 15 min of fame by killing someone or causing a bomb threat. With the media you don't know if the bomb threat is real or a fake. So if you make a bomb threat so sever people will not make them. We need to stop feeling sorry for the criminal they are breaking the law and we need to stop them at any price if it calls for bring back the death penalty so be it. What is wrong with that. The kid is 16 so what does that matter we have 12 yr old bringing guns to school and killing other kids when does an age matter when you are dealing with other peoples lives. I am fearful everyday when my kids go to school that some 12 or 16v or any age kids decides to bring a gun to school or blow up the school. What else can we do but lock him forever. If he is locked up in prison until the day he dies. One less nut case the public has to worry about on the streets. Just like in Ind. those two women go to the store to buy food for their families and a gunman walks in and kills both of them and holds the store manager at gun point until the police shot him dead. So those two families now have no mother because that guy had a problem that didnt get solved along time ago. It has to start somewhere. Gun control does nothing but take guns out of law abiding people. The criminal will always have their guns. It is a shame when the criminal has more rights than we do. If you locked up the the criminals until they die the crime will drop because they will not want to be locked up for ever. Now if you have someone that kills or rapes someone and are found guilty the next day the are excuted not twelve years later crime wil drop to. Yes some inccent people might die but you should be in the crime area in the first place. After a few cases are done that way crime will drop off instead of increasing as it is now.


Oh my Gaud...you don't live around here do you? This IS Ted Nugent isn't it?


It is called laws that are already in place. If you feel so strongly about this why dont you run for office. Use your opinion as your platform. Sounds like you might have a good chance of winning....In North Korea.


It was handled well. Teachers kept students calm. Most kids understood it was a hoax because who calls in a threat? People who truly want to hurt others give no warnings, but my daughter was nervous and did not want to go to the south building after the all clear. Thankfully she didn't have to since the rest of her classes were at north. I just wish kids understood the gravity of calling in with threats...you can't be lenient with the punishment but a felony sounds harsh for a 16 year old who wanted to skip school.


Did this kid cause other people to be scared? Did he threaten to injure, maim, or kill other people? YES. He is no different that any other domestic terrorist. Agree or disagree with me but that is my opinion. Your daughter was nervous, in other wards a little scared right. I am sure she wasn't the only one. Add in the time from Public Safety personnel that had to be there putting other people at risk. It just isn't funny and really shouldn't be taken lightly. What if someone would have had an emergency and died because the personnel was dealing with the false threat? He would hopefully be charged with contributing to that death. I don't care if he is only a kid, he should know better by that age.


PS the last child that called in a threat to West Ottawa schools was punished with a felony and he didn't even go to the school he was from Grand Haven obviously the severe punishment didn't scare anyone from repeating the same mistake. So tell me what is the answer?


What is the answer for any crime? Everyday people are robbed, raped, kidnapped, assaulted and many other horrible acts. There is capital.punishment for murder yet it still happens every day. The bottom line is you can't stop thos stuff from happening.


and the even more bottom line is that you can't stop attempting to stem the tide with prosecution and other forms of punishment and behavior modifications just because it's not 100% effective.

I think maybe we should bring back the stocks in the town square. Public humiliation worked pretty good back in earlier times.....if someone realized that they were at the mercy of an angry mob of citizens instead of heading off to a warm bed, 3 square meals a day and color TV they might just think twice about it.

(For the humor impaired, I'm only partially serious here, but from what I've read those stocks were pretty effective punishment in their time. I realize that we're too P.C. these days to do anything but send them off to the country club.)


I might agree with you this time. Hang him in the hall way for a week with a sign hanging from his neck and have kids throw peas and potatoes at him. I'm liking where this is going. I'm in a mood.

Tri-cities realist

Capital punishment is 100% effective at deterring crime, those who are executed do not commit any more crimes.


I not sure how or why, but in some crazy way I think I agree with this idea. Good one.


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