Police arrested students at two southern Washington County high schools after they allegedly made threats to shoot other students at schools this week.
Cambridge-Greenwich Police charged a 14-year-old at Cambridge High School and a 16-year-old at Greenwich High School after the teens made comments or gestures that were deemed threatening. Both were charged with felony counts of making a terroristic threat.
The 16-year-old was charged as an adult. He was identified as Paul R. Boyce of Cossayuna. He was jailed, pending arraignment, then released pending prosecution in Greenwich Court. The 14-year-old was released with a summons to the Washington County Probation Department.
Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said the 14-year-old made a verbal threat to shoot other students Tuesday and was charged Thursday after a school and police investigation.
Boyce is accused of making gestures with his fingers in the shape of a handgun in school on Thursday, and making comments along the lines of “I’m going to get you all,” Bell said.
There were no indications either teen had any plans or any weapons to carry out the threats, the chief said.
Both students are being disciplined by the schools.
Both school districts posted notices about the situations on their school websites late Thursday.
“At no time were any students or staff on our campus under a direct threat of violence,” the Greenwich school statement read. “As a result, the JSHS maintained normal operation with a police presence in the building.
“Please know the safety of your children is of highest priority. Our partners in local law enforcement have assured us our campus is safe. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement to maintain a safe learning environment in our schools,” the Cambridge statement read.
The incidents come on the heels of a school massacre in Florida last month, and numerous copycat incidents around upstate New York in recent days. A Granville High student and two 12-year-old Mechanicville students were also charged earlier this week.
“You don’t want to crucify these kids, but in today’s world, we just can’t ignore this stuff,” Bell said. “There’s got to be consequences.”
Under state law, those 16 and older who are arrested are prosecuted as adults, although that law is scheduled to change later this year, with 16-year-olds treated as juveniles and then 17-year-olds treated as juveniles when the full change is phased in next year.