Police: 17-year-old student faces charges after posting threats on Instagram

- The Union County Sheriff's Office said a 17-year-old Porter Ridge High School student faces felony charges after posting threats on Instagram. 

Deputies said the threats were discovered by other students Tuesday night.

School officials, along with Union County Sheriff’s deputies, began investigating. Officials quickly identified the suspect as Justin Parker Cassidy.

Deputies say Cassidy admitted to making the threats but claimed it was a hoax. However, under North Carolina law, it is a class H felony to make a false report concerning mass violence on educational property.

Cassidy was arrested on Thursday night and charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond.

Deputies with the sheriff's office also investigated threats found on a bathroom wall at Sun Valley Middle School earlier on Wednesday. 

After further investigation, it was determined that these messages were written by a 14-year-old student. They said this matter is still under investigation and a decision about criminal charges will be made in the near future. 

On Thursday more threats were found written on a bathroom wall at Sun Valley Middle. Deputies found the juvenile who wrote the threat and felony charges will be pursued in this case.

Sheriff Eddie Cathey said in a written statement, “The Sheriff’s Office takes these matters very seriously. School threats are harmful to the educational process and to the community. If we can prove that a crime has been committed and we identify the perpetrator(s), we will file criminal charges. Social media is a great tool with a lot of useful benefits but posting threatening messages towards our students and schools will not be tolerated.” 
 

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