School threat may be ‘swatting’ incident; search for possible witness underway

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SEE FOX 17 STORIES ON PREVIOUS ‘SWATTING’ INCIDENTS IN OTTAWA COUNTY

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. – Investigators in Ottawa County are looking for a man who may be able to provide information following a possible ‘swatting’ incident at Coopersville Schools.

The district was locked down Thursday afternoon during the incident.

The following is a news release sent by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department:

Sheriff’s Office detectives are continuing to investigate the threat that was received yesterday regarding the Coopersville Area Schools.  As was released yesterday the threatening call came in to the OCCDA dispatch center at 2:54 p.m. on 9-4-14.  The suspect claimed he was on a cell phone near the school, however his phone number was not displayed.  He did give dispatchers a first name although this undisclosed name could not be confirmed.  As you know the entire area was check and no threats could be found. 

Earlier on yesterday’s date 9-4-14 at approximately 6:40 a.m. a middle aged male came to the Coopersville High School Office and advised that he wished to see a student.  He had a first name only and was told that the school could not accommodate his  request and was turned away.  Oddly enough the first name given by the gentleman, and the first name used by the suspect caller are the same. 

At this point in the investigation, it is possible this is a “Swatting” type call.  Detectives have intercepted “twitter” messages that would indicate that the suspect, who has claimed responsibility may have been out of state or out of the country.  

Investigators need public assistance in identifying the gentleman who is in the photos attached to this release.  Detectives do not believe the man in these photos is a suspect, but may be an unwitting part of this possible “swatting” incident.  

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Staff, Students, and Parents for their assistance and understanding during this investigation. 

Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT or http://www.mosotips.com

Authority Capt. Mark R. Bennett

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