A 16-year-old student at Pickerington High School Central was arrested and placed in juvenile detention last month after allegedly threatening to harm a fellow student with a gun.
The boy has been incarcerated in the Multi-County Juvenile Detention Center in Lancaster since his Nov. 22 arrest after school officials allege he threatened another male student at Central in a homemade rap video.
The youth has been charged with two delinquency counts of inducing panic and a delinquency count of aggravated menacing.
All of the charges are first-degree misdemeanors that could carry penalties of up to six months in jail and fines of $1,000.
According to the Pickerington Police Department and Pickerington Local School District Superintendent Rob Walker, the 16-year-old and four other Central students filmed a “rap” video on a cellular telephone, which then was published via social media.
Police reported the boy said he would bring a “heater” and “strap” – slang terms for a gun – to school to deal with a student who was identified by his first name.
After seeing the video, school officials forwarded it to the Fairfield County Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office, which issued an order for the youth’s arrest.
“Our detectives had contacted his mother and she brought him to the station,” said Greg Annis, Pickerington Police commander.
“My understanding is there had been a past history between the two students, and there were references to firearms.”
The other four students involved in the video haven’t been charged.
Walker said one of the other four students was suspended and expelled from school, but he declined to say if the student had returned to school as of today, Thursday, Dec. 5.
Walker also wouldn’t confirm the names of any of the students involved.
“This was kind of a rap video message,” Walker said. “Three of the other students were kind of in the background,” he said.
“One was clearly making this message and sending this threat.
“One of the four students also was a lot more involved in it,” Walker said.
Walker said the student who was arrested should not have been attending a school in the Pickerington district .
“What we found out was he was enrolled with the falsification of documents,” Walker said.
“The student and family do not live in the district.
“He was attending Central when the incident occurred, but he had been attending the school less than one week.”
Walker said the student arrested lived in the Groveport-Madison Local School District.
A call to Groveport district’s main office regarding the suspect wasn’t returned Dec. 5.
Walker said a determination about the arrested student’s future in the district won’t be made until his criminal case is resolved.
“We will not do anything as far as moving forward with expulsion until he’s released from juvenile court,” Walker said.
“Because he committed this (alleged) offense while he was a student of the district, we intend to move forward with expulsion,” he said.
Typically, students in the Pickerington district can be expelled up to 80 days, but expulsions can be lengthened if an incident involves a weapon, Walker said.