Web threats lead to arrest of St. James student

Joshua Christopher Lane (Source: HCPD)
Joshua Christopher Lane (Source: HCPD)

Horry County, SC - HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Police in Horry County have arrested a St. James High School student after allegedly connecting the teen to a violent threat posted on two social networking sites.

Joshua Christopher Lane, 18, of Surfside Beach, was arrested and charged Wednesday for disturbing schools.

Investigators said a school resource officer at St. James was alerted by school staff that Lane had posted threatening statements on Facebook and a second social networking site. A woman from Corpus Christi, TX, alerted school officials after stumbling upon the postings.

Further investigation led officers to discover the post that stated, "You guys thought Columbine was bad… we'll see who's laughing Friday, you *****."

A spokesman for Horry County Police said detectives connected the statements to one of Lane's social networking sites after the complainant's son forwarded the threatening posts to police.

Lane was immediately taken in to custody Wednesday and transported to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center. Lane was released from custody on a $1,000 bond.

After news of the threatening posts spread, Lane's father called the incident a "result of an unfortunate error in judgment."

"There was never a threat intended and at no time was anyone in danger. Josh, [his mother and I] deeply regret what has happened," Jeff Lane, the teen's father, said in a statement to WMBF News.

Teal Britton, spokeswoman for Horry County Schools, said Lane has also been suspended from St. James High School. The teen is expected to have a hearing with school district officials on Monday to discuss the postings.

Officials at St. James High School have confirmed extra security will be stationed around the St. James High School campus on Friday as a precautionary measure.

"Because that [student] goes here and that insinuation was made, we take it very seriously," St. James High School Principal Vann Pennell said. "[Friday morning], we're going to have extra deputies [at the school], and of course our school resource officers as well."

St. James used a phone tree system on Thursday to alert parents about the incident. Parents and students can expect to see extra security including metal detectors at school Friday morning.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.