Boy accused in bomb threat released
MILTON An 11-year-old boy accused of threatening to detonate a fake bomb on a Milton school bus has been in foster care because his mother is in prison, court officials said Thursday.
The Milton Intermediate School fifth-grader lives with his great aunt. He had written in a book that he wanted to blow up his school and kill his mom, officials said.
The boy appeared in Rock County Court on Thursday and was ordered released from the Rock County Juvenile Detention Center. He will be allowed to live at home under certain conditions.
The Rock County District Attorney's Office has two days to file a juvenile petition charging the boy with a crime, Judge Alan Bates said. The boy was suspended from school and is facing expulsion.
In court Thursday, the boy appeared via video from the juvenile detention center. He answered the judge's questions with a polite, "Yes, sir."
Assistant District Attorney Dan Niedfeldt said the threat was serious and caused school to be temporarily canceled.
He said the bomb threat was not typical because the boy made an actual device, rather than just write a message on a wall. He said a tremendous amount of law enforcement resources were used to respond to the threat.
"I'm pretty concerned with his behavior," Niedfeldt said.
Assistant State Public Defender Barbara Gerber said the boy should be released to his great aunt because he has not had problems at home. She said his problems are at school and on the bus. She asked the judge to put the boy on home detention.
"I don't think, at this age, he should be kept in secure detention," Gerber said.
Bates agreed with Gerber, saying the boy has had difficulties in life and could be monitored at home. The judge ordered the boy to stay home, not have friends over and follow his great aunt's rules.
The boy was referred to juvenile authorities Wednesday on a felony bomb scare charge.
The bus driver said he heard the boy say he had a bomb at about 9 a.m. Wednesday and threaten to detonate the device on the bus or in the school, according to a news release from the Milton Police Department. The school bus was full of students and was parked in a lot at Milton Intermediate School.
The bus driver evacuated students from the bus, told the boy to stay on the bus and then called Milton police, officials said. School administrators evacuated the school, sending students to Milton Middle School as police surrounded the bus.
Officers called in a SWAT team from the Rock County Sheriff's Office and a bomb squad from the Winnebago County (Ill.) Sheriff's Office.
SWAT team negotiators coaxed the student away from the device and off the bus, taking the student into custody, police said. The bomb squad then destroyed the device.
The student had been upset with teachers at the school, police said.