3 arrested after threat against Pickens High School on social media

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PICKENS Co., S.C. (WSPA) –  Three students have been arrested after a threat was made against Pickens High School, according to Pickens Police.

On Wednesday night, the School District of Pickens County announced that school officials had been made aware of a threat against Pickens High School on social media.

Pickens Police Department says they got numerous calls about threats to shoot up the school.

The school resource officer figured out who made the threat, went to his home, took him in custody and checked the home for weapons.

Police say they have made three arrests and there was no evidence of any existing threat to the school or the public.

This was reportedly an isolated incident.

CHARGED

Dan Darville, 17, has been arrested and charged with making threats against a school.

During a bond hearing on Thursday, Darville’s bond was set at $25,000.

Two more suspects were believed to have combined and distributed Darville’s post in order to cause a panic, according to police.

Austin Manuel Luis Morales, 17, and Tony Silvester Vazquez-Vasquez, 17, were arrested and charged with conspiracy and making threats against a school.

“By sharing those on social media, you’re basically giving the creator of the post exactly what they want, or the creator of the threat exactly what they want, which is the notoriety, the fear, the panic,” said John Eby, who is a public information specialist with the Pickens County School District. 

Morales’ mother, Tanya De La Paz, said her son and his friend Velazquez are innocent. She and other student tell 7 News they aren’t friends with Darville. She said they saw the threatening posts on Snapchat and reported them to the Pickens County Sheriff’s office in a Facebook message around 8:30 Wednesday night. 

“I wanted to know answers…why is my child being arrested for letting people know what was going on? He reported what was going to happen, and now he’s being charged as a criminal, De La Paz said.

Morales and Vazquez-Vasquez then shared the threats on social media. De La Paz said it was to warn other students. Family members of students at Pickens High tell 7 News the threats have been shared widely on social media.

Morales and Vazquez-Vasquez were given bonds of $35,000.

The following are the conditions of both Darville and Morales’ bonds:

  • No contact with co-defendants
  • No contact with students affected by the incident
  • No going on Pickens County Schools property
  • Both are required to have mental health evaluations upon release

Darville and Morales have suspended from school and both will have hearings on whether they will be expelled.

We do not have information on Vazquez-Vasquez’s situation at school.

District spokesman John Eby said the following message was sent to parents: 

“We have been made aware of a threat against Pickens High School that appears to have been made by a student on social media. Law enforcement has informed us that they have the student in custody, and we are clear to return to school tomorrow.  As an extra precaution, we have made arrangements with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and City of Pickens Police to ensure that the school has extra law enforcement protection in the morning.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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