Garden City man arrested after St. James High bomb threat
St. James High students were being evacuated Thursday morning (Source: WMBF News Photog Ian Dorety)
52-year-old Tony Franks of Garden City (Source: Horry County Police)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Horry County Police have arrested a Garden City man in connection to the bomb threat on St. James High that evacuated students for over two hours on the second day of school.
According to Horry County School District spokeswoman Teal Britton, a bomb threat was phoned in to St. James High School at 8:38 a.m. by an anonymous caller.
Sgt Robert Kegler, spokesman for the Horry County Police Department, explains that the male caller told the receptionist that took the call that there were two devices within the building set to go off within 30 minutes.
Students were evacuated outside the building and the school was placed on lockdown as SLED bomb squads and K9 units responded to evaluate the threat, Kegler adds.
The entire campus was closed, and no one was permitted to come onto the campus or leave.
Britton continues that due to inclement weather, students were put on buses, but they were not being bussed home as some kids reportedly posted on social media sites. Around 10:45 a.m. the school was cleared of possible threats and the students were allowed back in the building to resume their regular schedule.
The investigation by Horry County Police determined that 52-year-old Tony Franks of Garden City made the phone call from a residence on Jay Street. After recovering the phone used to make the threat, Franks was arrested and taken to J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
Charges related to the bomb threat are still pending.
Kegler stresses that the department's resources were pulled away from active investigations, and some supervisors that responded to the school were actively searching for two double homicide suspects who are considered armed and dangerous and a threat to society.
"The Horry County Police Department will not tolerate the continued practice of Bomb Threats being called into and written at our Schools. We will continue to utilize our resources as needed to investigate these incidents along with identifying and arresting any suspects found to be responsible," Kegler ensures.
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