Pembroke Pines student accused of making threatening post on Snapchat

17-year-old latest to face charges for social media threats

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A 17-year-old student was arrested Monday after police said he made threats against his Pembroke Pines school on Snapchat.

The student, who was not identified, faces a charge of making a false report, a second-degree felony.

Pembroke Pines police said the West Broward High School student posted a Snapchat video on Thursday of him posing with a semi-automatic handgun. The caption read: "Me if U don’t vote for me for Senioritis."

School officials received a tip about the post at begining of the school day on Monday.

When confronted by School Resource Officers Brian Maher and Mike Pazienza, the student admitted he had posted the video, but said he did not intend to act on the threat. The video was recorded at Nexus Gun Range in Davie. The student said he did not have access to guns at his home.

School Resource Officers Brian Maher and Mike Pazienza questioned the student about the post.
School Resource Officers Brian Maher and Mike Pazienza questioned the student about the post.

In recent months, several students in the Pembroke Pines area have been charged after making threats to schools or classmates.

The city and the police department launched a social media campaign after the spate of arrests, urging students not to make threats even as a joke. The campaign used the hashtag "#ThinkBeforeYouPost."

"Please tell your friends and your children threats against students and schools about guns and violence is serious. It's not a joke," Frank Ortis, the mayor of Pembroke Pines, said in a video for the campaign.

Authorities in South Florida have seen an uptick in threats to schools after a gunman opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018. Seventeen people were killed and more than a dozen were wounded in the shooting.

Many of the students accused of making threats are being charged under a new law passed after the Parkland school shooting. Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz made several threatening social media posts but they went unheeded.