JUVENILE CHARGED WITH TERRORISTIC THREATS AND FALSE PUBLIC ALARM

TO:  ALL NEWS MEDIA

FROM: PROSECUTOR MARK MUSELLA

DATE: MARCH 2, 2020 

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of a 16 year-old male JUVENILE on charges of Terroristic Threats And False Public Alarm.  The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, the Paramus Police Department under the direction of Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg, and the Hackensack Police Department under the direction of Officer-in-Charge Captain Peter Busciglio.

 Between Thursday, February 27, 2020 and Friday, February 28, 2020, members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit received information concerning a series of six phone calls placed to several area police departments from a caller using technology to anonymize his calling line identity (“caller ID”).  During the various calls, the unknown caller claimed a bomb was on the campus of a school in Hackensack and a school in Paramus.  First responders, including the Paramus Police Department, the Hackensack Police Department, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the Bergen County Bomb Squad, the Bergen County Regional SWAT Team, and the Hackensack and Paramus Fire Departments all responded and subsequently determined that the calls affecting their respective jurisdictions were false and there was no emergency.  Members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit, the Hackensack Police Department, and the Paramus Police Department initiated an investigation to trace the calls.

As a result of the investigation, it was determined that a juvenile placed the six telephone calls to Bergen County police agencies.  The juvenile was taken into protective custody on Friday, February 28, 2020 in Paramus, NJ and charged with juvenile delinquency which, if committed by an adult, would constitute three counts of False Public Alarm, to wit: False Report Of A Bomb, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3a(1)b, a 2nd degree crime, and three counts of Terroristic Threats, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3a, a 3rd degree crime.  The juvenile was remanded to the Bergen County Juvenile Detention Center pending action by the Family Court.      

Prosecutor Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the juvenile is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  He would like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Paramus, Hackensack and Elmwood Park Police Departments, the Paramus and Hackensack Fire Departments, and Bergen County Public Safety Operations Center for their assistance with this investigation.  

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