Former student charged with making a bomb threat against New Haven High School

Anna Liz Nichols
The Detroit News

A former student of New Haven High School faces two felonies related to a bomb threat made over social media.

The suspect, Rico Cook, 26, was in a black Ford Fusion near the school's baseball diamonds flashing the vehicle's hazard lights and loudly playing music when deputies arrived at the school to respond to the threat Monday morning posted on  Cook's social media profile, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Cook was taken into custody and no weapons or bombs were found in the vehicle and no explosives were found on the school's property, which was closed on Monday due to multiple power outages throughout the school district.

Cook was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of a false report of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime, both 20-year felonies. His bond was set to $150,000 and he will have to wear a GPS tether if released. He is being held at Macomb County Jail.

Rico Cook, 26, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of a false report of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime.

Since the Nov. 30 shooting at Oxford High School, where four students were killed, threats against schools statewide have increased. There were at least 60 schools that shut down due to copycat threats made within the two days following the shooting, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in December.

In the following three weeks after the deadly shooting at Oxford, 73 people were charged in connection with threats against schools in Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties.

According to OK2SAY, a reporting tool through the state police where individuals can report crimes or potential threats involving schools, teachers and students, the number of tips the program received went up by 67% in the 2021 calendar year, compared to the year prior.

There is a "zero tolerance" approach to making threats against schools, the county prosecutor's office said in a news release Tuesday. The office said Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido's message is “these threats will be taken seriously and there will not be leniency.”

County Executive Mark Hackel said individuals who make threats, even if they say it was just a joke posted online, will be caught and it will not be treated as a joke by law enforcement.

"For somebody who thinks that there's some kind of sense of anonymity to this, or thinks it's funny, they're sorely mistaken," Hackel said.

Cook is scheduled for his next court appearance Sept. 28.

anichols@detroitnews.com