Sterling Heights teen charged with making school threat
A Sterling Heights teen was charged Wednesday with making a terrorist threat against Henry Ford II High School on social media, the latest in a series of threats in Michigan in the wake of the Florida school shootings.
Ethan McElrath, 17, was charged Wednesday with making threats of domestic terrorism, according to a release by the Police Department; bond was set at $20,000 and he must wear a tether if he posts bond. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charge.
Sterling Heights police said a student from Mohegan High School in Clinton Township reported seeing a social media post Tuesday against Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights.
The threat indicated an attack would be similar to the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which 17 people died and more than a dozen others were wounded. The attack was set for Thursday, police said.
Police said McElrath is not a student at the high school.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said threats will be prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law."
"If you haven't done so already, I urge every parent, teacher and administrator to take time out of their day to discuss the rash of arrests that have occurred since the senseless tragedy in Parkland, Florida," Smith said. "Don't wait -- have the discussion now."
The charges Wednesday were the latest in series of local threats. On Monday, Ypsilanti Community Middle School was evacuated due to a bomb threat, district officials said.
The Monroe Police Department and Monroe Public Schools said a middle school student was lodged in a detention center last month after a resource officer found an inactive grenade in his locker and the youth made threatening statements to classmates, the Associated Press reported.
On Feb. 23, a bullet found in the high school prompted a similar measure in Berkley, and a phoned-in threat brought stepped up police presence at Belleville High School. On Feb. 24, a 14-year-old Monroe County student at Whiteford High School was arrested for making “terroristic threats,” officials said. A 15-year-old Melvindale High student has also been charged after alleged threats on Snapchat.
In February, OK2SAY, which launched in 2014 as a warning system for schools statewide, received 119 planned school attack tips, Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office said Wednesday.
That accounted for 18 percent of all tips submitted last month and represented “a substantial increase” in the category, his office reported. There were 146 such tips in all of 2017.
Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed to this report.