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River Falls teen gets probation for school threat

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news Ellsworth, 54011

Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

The 17-year-old River Falls teenager who was charged with phoning in a bomb threat to River Falls High School in February had his court case settled last week.

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Kyle Randy Schultz, 456 Hanson Dr., pled guilty to unlawful phone use to threatening harm, which is a misdemeanor. Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles placed Schultz on two years probation with restitution as a condition.

Schultz was initially charged with felony bomb scares, but pled guilty to the amended charge as part of the agreement.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Friday, Feb. 28, from inside the River Falls High School, near the gym locker room and using another student’s cell phone, Schultz allegedly made a terse call to the school office secretary, saying “there is a bomb in the school.”

The anonymous call led to the immediate evacuation of hundreds of students. They filed across Cemetery Road and quickly took shelter from the cold and blowing snow in the Wildcat Centre hockey rink.

From 10 a.m. to almost noon, school staff, administrators, police officers and sheriff’s deputies searched the school, but found no explosive device.

River Falls Fire and Ambulance were also nearby and on standby. After the high school was declared safe, students returned to their classes by noon.

Police-School Liaison Officer Chris Gottfredsen said two phone companies -- AT&T and Verizon -- were used to trace the bomb threat caller’s number and then identify the subscriber.

The subscriber turned out to be another high school male student. He was in gym class when the call was made, meaning someone took his cell phone from his gym locker.

Gottfredsen said the school’s surveillance video in the hallway outside the gym lockers identified Schultz as a potential suspect.

Having called in sick Monday morning, Schultz was not in school. He was picked up around 9 a.m. at home, brought to the police station, and there Gottfredsen said he confessed to phoning in the bomb threat after repeated denials.

Schultz says he pressed the “67” function on the other student’s cell phone to make the bomb threat call show as anonymous on caller I.D.

Schultz’s only reason for making the threat, Gottfredsen said, was being upset over personal troubles.

Schultz was also charged with burglary, criminal damage to property and felony bail jumping stemming from a May incident. He pled guilty to the criminal damage charge, as the other two were dismissed. He was placed on two years’ probation, which is concurrent to the phone charge.

Court records state, if Schultz completes probation, he can apply for expungement.

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