A Baker High School student is in the custody of juvenile authorities today on a charge of first-degree disorderly conduct after he allegedly made threats to shoot people at the school and to take his own life.
The 16-year-old boy was arrested at 1:39 a.m. today, Baker City Police Chief Ray Duman stated in a press release.
(The Baker City Herald doesn’t report the names of juveniles accused of misdemeanor crimes.)
The investigation began at 11:39 p.m. Sunday when the Baker County Dispatch Center received a call from a national suicide hotline stating that the boy had called the hotline and detailed his plans.
Police began the investigation after determining the call had been made from Baker City, Duman said. The suicide hotline provided officers with the cellphone number used to make the call. The number was traced to the boy’s home and then to a different location where the phone was found and the boy was taken into custody.
“The officers did a good job of recognizing the situation and dealing with it accordingly,” Duman said this morning.
A Juvenile Court counselor transported the boy to the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections juvenile detention center at The Dalles. They arrived there at about 7 a.m. today, said Staci Erickson, Juvenile Department director.
A court hearing on the disorderly conduct charge, a Class A misdemeanor, will be scheduled either today or by 3 p.m. Tuesday, Erickson said. She will ask the Court to retain the boy at the detention center. He is serving a probation term for an earlier crime of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, she said.
Duman said school officials were notified of the threat and the investigation is continuing.
Superintendent Mark Witty expressed his appreciation for the work of law enforcement officers and the systems in place to help keep students safe.
“I’m grateful that law enforcement got after it and took care of the situation ... even before school started today,” he said.
Witty added that he appreciates that there are different ways for people to report problems, including self-reporting as happened in this case.
He noted that the school district works closely with New Directions Northwest to help address mental health needs of students.
“There are reasons we have systems in place to identify students who are having problems,” he said.