Crime

Police arrest 15-year-old accused of writing threatening graffiti at O'Fallon school

O’Fallon District 90 administration discuss school threat

O’Fallon School District 90 Superintendent Carrie Hruby and District 90 Safety and Security Director Mark Berry talk about safety in light of Monday’s threat at J Emmett Sr. Hinchcliffe Elementary School in O’Fallon.
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O’Fallon School District 90 Superintendent Carrie Hruby and District 90 Safety and Security Director Mark Berry talk about safety in light of Monday’s threat at J Emmett Sr. Hinchcliffe Elementary School in O’Fallon.

Police arrested a 15-year-old Monday night in connection with a threatening message written on the J Emmett Hinchcliffe Sr. Elementary School building.

The teen took full responsibility for the graffiti, according to an O'Fallon Police press release, and said the message was written as a joke "for attention with no legitimacy."

On Monday morning, someone had written "I'm going to shoot this (expletive) up" on the wall of the school and cut through window screens, police said.

District 90 Superintendent Carrie Hruby said some of the graffiti was threatening while some was "explicit, vulgar drawings not of a threatening nature." The non-threatening graffiti was "sexually explicit drawings," Hruby said.

Nonetheless, Mark Berry, director of District 90 public safety and security, along with other O'Fallon Police officers, were at the school throughout Monday.

The juvenile was being held at the St. Clair County Juvenile Center on Tuesday morning. Police said they would continue to work with O’Fallon School District 90 and the St Clair County State's Attorney's Office for formal charges.

Hruby noted on Monday that there is a climate of concern and fear among parents nationally due to school-related shootings and threats.

"This is something that has heightened our awareness and all schools have increased police presence and security measures, and so it's an unfortunate situation that we're all feeling that there's a heightened sense of alarm or alert to any type of threat credible or not," Hruby said.

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6

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