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Suspect in school threats released without bail

Monday’s arrest of a 16-year-old South Kitsap High School (SKHS) student suspected of making violent threats against his fellow students, faculty and staff proved less than reassuring to some parents who kept their children home from school Wednesday.

Yet both the Port Orchard Police Chief Al Townsend and SKHS Principal David Colombini agree the investigation of the threats, subsequent arrest and security of the students on Wednesday were all handled thoroughly and expeditiously. Both are pleased with the result.

“(Wednesday) went extremely well,” said Colombini. “The investigation went extremely, extremely well.”

Colombini said he wanted to make sure to publicly “pat the Port Orchard Police Department and the (Kitsap County) Sheriff’s Office on the back” for their ability to handle these types of situations in such a professional way.

“In the past, there have been threats and we’ve handled them appropriately (also),” Colombini said.

Townsend said the police did everything it could have done in the investigation and beyond to protect other students.

“We had, I think, 11 officers total throughout the day at the school,” Townsend said. “There was absolutely no incident. It was the safest day this school has ever had.”

School resource Officers from the Port Orchard Police Department and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office arrested the student from Port Orchard Monday after finding a threatening handwritten message written on the wall of a men’s restroom at South Kitsap High School the previous week.

The message said the author was going to kill “everyone” in the school during one of Wednesday’s lunch periods.

The suspect, who confessed to the police during the course of the investigation, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of felony harassment.

According to Todd Dowell, a deputy prosecutor in the Juvenile Division of the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office, the suspect will probably receive a “local sanctions” sentence.

His sentence will most likely include anywhere from one to 12 months community supervision (probation), up to 150 hours of community service and up to 30 days in detention in Kitsap County’s Juvenile Detention Facility.

At his arraignment Tuesday, Dowell asked that bail be set at $10,000, but the judge did not issue bail and the suspect was released.

The next hearing date is scheduled for Dec. 28 in a “case setting,” meaning the hearing will not be conducted in court.

“It made me feel very proud to know that we’re all working together for the benefit of our kids,” Colombini said.

As far as an ongoing investigation, Townsend said the blanks have all been filled in.

“It’s a done deal now,” Townsend said.

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