Click photo to enlarge
Students are sent home when police clear the campus after the threat of an explosive device was received at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, Calif., on Monday, April 22, 2013. At 3 p.m. the campus was cleared by police and students were released. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

ANTIOCH -- The 16-year-old Deer Valley High student arrested last month for making a series of false bomb threats to the school has been charged by the Contra Costa District Attorney's office, police said.

The boy was charged in juvenile court last week with six felony counts of making false bomb threats on April 22 through 25, Antioch police Chief Allan Cantando said. The campus was evacuated three times in as many days as a result of those threats.

"We're happy that the District Attorney's Office did file charges. The threats were serious and had a huge impact on public safety," Cantando said Monday. "Hopefully, this sends a clear message to those in the future that these types of crimes will be prosecuted."

The juvenile court judge could determine that the boy's parents pay restitution and fines for wasted police staff time, Cantando said. The teen could be sentenced to the state youth authority or county juvenile hall, but most likely would be given probation if he has no criminal history, the chief said.

Meanwhile, expulsion proceedings have started for the teen, Antioch Unified Superintendent Donald Gill said.

It is unknown how much the series of responses cost the resource-strapped police department, but Cantando estimates it was "thousands of dollars." Antioch Unified officials are also calculating how much money was lost in instructional time and staff displacement, Gill said.

"It really turned this district upside down for four days," Gill said.


Advertisement

A similar string of four bomb threats in three days at two Tracy high schools in March cost that district about $101,000, officials said.

Antioch police were able to make the April 25 arrest by determining that the calls came from the same cell phone number, playing back recordings received by dispatchers and tips from a couple of Deer Valley students, Cantando said. The boy later admitted to making the bogus calls, police said.

There have been no bomb threats made on Deer Valley's campus since the arrest, including last week when students were taking state standardized tests.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.