Niagara Gazette

Crime

February 10, 2014

Police searching for caller after bomb threat called in for two schools Monday

An early morning phone call led to the lockdown of a local high school and the evacuation of another Monday. Police are now working to track down the caller.

Investigators from the Niagara County Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Bureau have teamed up with Falls Police detectives to find out who made the call.

"They are trying to trace down the source of the phone call," Niagara County Undersheriff Mike Filicetti said Monday afternoon.

The call, which came into the Niagara County Sheriff's Office 911 Center at 7:55 a.m., reported that bombs had been planted at both the Niagara Falls and Niagara-Wheatfield high schools.

Falls police officers responded to the Porter Road high school, while sheriff's deputies, Lewiston Police officers and New York State Police troopers raced to the school complex on Route 31. 

Officials with the Niagara-Wheatfield School District made a decision to evacuate students from their school. 

"The kids were taken over to the Sanborn Fire Hall and they stood-by there," Filicetti said. 

With both Niagara-Wheatfield High School and Edward Town Middle School empty, bomb-sniffing dogs from the sheriff's office, the State Police and Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police swept both buildings and quickly notified district officials the conjoined buildings were safe to re-enter.

"The K-9 units found nothing there," Filicetti said, "and the school was re-opened."

Niagara-Wheatfield Superintendent Lynn Fusco said the district focused solely on the safety of the students at the buildings, leading to the evacuation order. The decision affected busing schedules for all elementary students in the district, who were delayed by one hour so resources could provide transportation to the Buffalo Street fire hall, she said.

Once accounted for, students were permitted to be dismissed to any parent with proper identification, Fusco said.

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