Teenager arrested after he admits making threats to kill classmate on Instagram

After this morning’s arrest of a 14-year-old boy who lives with his parents on Rosecroft Lane in Palm Coast, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staley reported to Historic City News that parents need to take a second look at the social media accounts being used by their children.

The teenager arrested made numerous, repeated written threats to kill a 13-year-old boy who he knew through the social media platform, Instagram.  The threats were made directly to the victim via the social media platform.  The latest threat stated that he would kill the victim after school regarding the argument on Instagram.  There were no threats to the schools or to any other students.

“We take all threats seriously and if you make a threat – whether verbally, in writing, or through social media – it will be investigated and you will be arrested,” said Sheriff Staly. “Cell phones and social media are a part of every child’s life these days and it is more important than ever for parents to pay attention to what their children are doing online. Let them know that if they make the wrong choice, say, write or post threats, they will face serious consequences.”

Deputies acted quickly to track the social media account used to threaten the victim.  Deputies responded to the account holder’s residence and spoke to both the teenager and his parents.  The teenager charged in this criminal case admitted to sending the messages to the victim but claimed it was only “out of anger” and that he “did not intend to carry out the threat”.

Florida law is very strict and there is no discretion for law enforcement. “We have a zero-tolerance policy for threats in Flagler County,” the sheriff added.

The suspect was processed at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility and then turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Daytona Beach.  He was released to his mother.

Parents can become more involved in what their children are doing online. Below is a chart of the top 23 mobile applications that parents should be aware of and monitoring. In addition to being aware of the applications your children utilize, consider parental control applications that can assist in monitoring online activity.  A few parental control applications that may be considered include Bark, Net Nanny, and Securly. These applications are available for both Android and Apple devices.