A Havelock High student has been arrested for making bomb threats that caused the evacuation of the school on Tuesday and Thursday.
Fredrick L. Thomas, 18, of Havelock, has been charged with two counts of making a false bomb report at a public building, according to a release from the Havelock Police Department. Thomas was arrested shortly after a bomb threat was called in Thursday morning, prompting the evacuation of students and staff to Havelock Middle School for the second time this week.
According to the release, investigators identified Thomas as a person of interest in the case from leads developed during Tuesday’s bomb threat. Investigators and the school’s resource officer were able to locate the cell phone used in both bomb threats and identify Thomas as being in possession of the phone. Investigators then gathered additional information, leading to Thomas’ arrest.
Havelock Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus would not release a motive in the case.
No bombs were ever found, and the two incidents were described as hoaxes.
Thomas is being held in the Craven County Jail under a $75,000 secured bond. A date for his first court appearance wasn’t immediately available.
The bomb threats occurred during the first week students were back from Christmas break and as they were preparing for first-semester final exams. The bomb threats prompted officials to dismiss classes for the day on Tuesday and kept students out of class for about three hours on Thursday.
Because of the disruptions to class time, the school has adjusted its exam schedule for next week, with first-period exams on Monday, second-period exams on Tuesday, third-period exams on Wednesday and fourth-period exams on Thursday. Any make-up exams will be on Jan. 17, which is also an optional teacher workday.
Carr Ipock, chairman of the Craven County Board of Education, said if convicted, Thomas faces an automatic expulsion of 180 days and he could be held liable for the costs associated with the investigation into the bomb threat, such as use of explosive ordnance military personnel from Cherry Point to search the building.
“People just don’t understand the severe consequences of these acts, to themselves, their family and the community,” Ipock said. “ … This caused exams to be delayed from starting Friday to starting on Monday and the many parents who had to leave work to pick up their children interrupted work and business in the area.”
Drew C. Wilson is a reporter for the Havelock News, and Sue Book is a reporter for the Sun Journal.