Teen charged for online threat against Kent Co. shopping center

Kent County
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KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — An Otsego County teen is facing charges after posting a threat online against a Kent County shopping center.

The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office charged the 14-year-old with two felonies Friday — false report and threat of terrorism and using a computer to commit a felony. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to a Kentwood Police Department news release.

The shooting threat was posted to an online gaming forum where another user spotted it and forwarded it to management of the shopping center. Management then contacted the Kentwood Police Department. Police and shopping center officials put in place plans to deal with the possible threat, the release said.

Detectives were able to determine the suspect who made the threat lived in northern Michigan. They found and interviewed the suspect Tuesday, according to KPD.

It was determined the suspect did not have access to any guns and was acting alone. He was left in the custody of a parent.

The case was then forwarded to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office who made the decision to press charges.

“In today’s climate, realize that no threats are ‘idle.’ Words have consequences, whether they are spoken, shared on social media or on an online game. This investigation caused a lot of expense, and we plan to seek financial restitution from the parents to cover the costs,” Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen said in a statement.

Authorities did not release the name of the shopping center or suspect.

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