Police have arrested an 18-year-old man following the lockdown at Toms River High School East Friday afternoon, authorities announced in a release.
Toms River Police Department Detectives Thomas Gross and Jon Turner arrested Frank Smentkowski, 18, of Flaam Street early Friday evening and charged him with one count of creating a false public alarm, according to department spokesman Ralph Stocco.
Police allege that Smentkowski posted a photograph of another student on social media with a caption “alluding to the school being ‘shot up,'” Stocco said, adding that police conducted searches and no weapons were located.
“There is no reason to believe he has any access to weapons,” the spokesman said.
Authorities believe that Smentkowski made the post without thoroughly contemplating the consequences and exercised poor judgement, deeming the threat as not credible.
“However, prior to the conclusion of the investigation, it had to be initially taken as credible. We never want to take a chance when there is even the remotest possibility of danger to the community,” the release said. “The school staff and students are also to be commended for their cooperation during this incident.”
“All protocols that are practiced in the event of serious incidents on school property were followed, and had this been a legitimate threat we are confident that all appropriate measures were implemented.”