Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Press Release: Bomb Threat on School Bus at Northside Intermediate School

The following is the press release from the Interim Milton Chief of Police Jerry Schuetz and Superintendent of Milton Schools Bernie Nikolay regarding today's bomb threat situation at Northside Intermediate School in Milton.

At approximately 8:47 am Officers of the Milton Police Department were dispatched to Northside Intermediate school for a report of a possible bomb on a school bus parked in the parking lot at the school, accompanied by threats made by a student on the bus. The bus driver evacuated all students from the bus when he saw a student with a device that looked like a bomb with batteries and wires on it. The bus driver further indicated that he heard a student nearest the device state that he had a bomb and threatened to detonate the device either on the bus or in the school.

The bus driver notified school district administration immediately who pursuant to their critical incident response plan evacuated all students and staff and sent them to Milton Middle School. The Milton Police Department requested the assistance of the Rock County Sheriff’s office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad Unit, maintaining a perimeter around the bus until responding units could arrive. The joint of Milton/Town of Milton Fire Department and EMS were also staged on standby throughout the incident.

At approximately 10:45 am the Rock County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team approached the bus and was able to successfully negotiate with the 11 year old student, encouraging him to move away from the device and exit the bus. The student did so and was taken into custody without incident. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s office bomb squad removed the device from the bus and safely destroyed it. The device was a child’s video game with a series of wires and batteries attached to it simulating a bomb like device. There were no actual explosives associated with this incident.

As a precautionary measure, law enforcement personnel and school district administrators did a cursory search of the school. Nothing suspicious was found. The 11 year old student remains in police custody at this time.

Parents of students at Northside school were notified of the incident via the District’s phone messaging system. School was cancelled for the remainder of the day and will resume as normal on Thursday, March 17th, 2011.

NOTE: Pursuant to the directive of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court rule 20:3.6, trail publicity, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.