2 charged in 'joke' that led to hazmat situation in Murrells Inlet

Murrells Inlet, SC - MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - A pair of Murrells Inlet teens have been charged with sparking a hazmat situation at St. James High School on Thursday.

Tyler Bullock, 18, and John Hanna, 17, have each been charged with disturbing schools, according to Horry County Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Kegler. Bullock and Hanna, who are both students at St. James, were charged at the Magistrate Court on Monday.

According to a police report, officers responded to St. James High School just after 3:15 p.m. Thursday, April 29, to investigate reports of a suspicious note.

The school's principal told police four students walked into the front office and said they found a note with the word "bomb" written at the top. The note further stated that it had been laced with anthrax and the receiver would die a "slow and painful death." Police say the threat was written backwards, and could only be read with the help of a mirror.

A student said they found the note laying on the floor of a classroom, and was not aware of what it said until later in the day. The student showed the note to three others before taking to an assistant principal, who took it to the school nurse to be placed in a hazardous materials bag.

Horry County Police say the suspect's name was written at the bottom of the note, allowing for a quick identification of the author. The suspect told officials the letter was a joke between friends and it should have been tossed in the trash. It is unclear at this time which of the teens' name was at the bottom of the note.

The victims involved in the incident, according to police, did not suffer any illness and were not exposed to a toxic substance. Further testing of the letter by Horry County Police revealed no residue or powder was present on the letter.

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