Someone called about the bomb threat late Thursday morning. Local law enforcement responded by initiating a lockdown of George Washington Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
The school district superintendent said that the Ridgewood Police Department responded to the bomb threat by implementing standard emergency response measures that included a search of the school building.
Ridgewood NJ police are still investigating the incident and attempting to identify the person who placed the fake bomb threat. However, investigators have yet to identify a suspect in the case.
This was only the most recent “swatting” incident in New Jersey. The culprits in the hoaxes are believed to target public areas in the hopes of provoking a response by heavily armed tactical teams, also known as SWAT units.
According to officials, swatting incidents recently occurred at University Medical Center in Princeton NJ and at a pizza restaurant in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
At this time, law enforcement has not yet determined if any of these swatting incidents are connected.
If suspects in any of these cases are identified and located, they could face significant criminal charges for terroristic threats. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3, anyone who tries to terrorize another person or cause evacuation of a building can be charged with a third degree felony and be sentenced to 3-5 years in NJ State Prison.
For additional information, view the NJ.com article entitled “Ridgewood School Targeted in Swatting Hoax, Officials Say.”