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Dededo minor makes online threat

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The Guam Police Department's Juvenile Investigation Section is dealing with an alarming increase in crime committed by minors.  The main three issues they deal with on a regular basis - beyond control cases, assaults and drugs.  Just this week agents were called to investigate a threat made by a minor on the Internet.

Earlier this week GPD received a call from Europe warning of a threat that had surfaced on a gaming web site.  The warning may have come from England, but it was tracked to a specific home in Dededo.  Two days ago JIS was asked to look into a call from a safety officer of a gaming company in the United Kingdom.  JIS Officer in Charge Sergeant Ron Taitano, "The gentleman claimed that their policy was any time they received information that's suggestive of a threat they will report it to the local authorities.  In this case that's what they did."

Taitano would release many details of the threat only confirming that it had to do with an individual who said they were going to bring weapons to school.  JIS agents secured several search warrants and tracked the threat to a residence in Dededo.  "We executed a search warrant and in the residence we were able to isolate that specific address to a particular area within the house," he stated.  "We followed that up with interviews of the family and it led to a 14-year-old male from Dededo."

The boy was charged with terrorizing and was ordered to appear in court in the next few weeks.  Authorities believe he was simply angry and didn't intend to follow through with bringing weapons to school.  But in similar threats made in the past by other minors, agents have recovered weapons. With tragic shootings at campuses in the States, GPD isn't taking any chances.

"If you go back to Columbine, if you go back to these other incidents before, they start off as being victims.  Bullying, abuse, you name it - teasing an as it continues to build up they don't have the coping skills," said Sgt. Taitano.

While minors may think they have some sort of anonymity while surfing the net and making threats, this case - which was solved in two days - is proof that police will track down the source.  "We want to assure the public that we do take these cases extremely seriously and we just ask the public most especially the parents, help us out please watch out over your children. For the children themselves, if you come across problems, call us up," Taitano said.

"There are a great number of agencies out here both governmental and non profit that can provide a wealth of services to these youth that are struggling to deal with the problems they have."

GPD reminds parents to be aware of their child's activities and behavior.  The agency is working on a new juvenile law that will hold parents more accountable for their kids' actions.  The Juvenile Investigation Section meanwhile is also working to conduct training over the summer for Department of Education school principals and staff to help them combat campus crime and violence for the coming school year.

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