By Randi Pierce | Staff Writer
An unidentified 16-year-old male from New Mexico was arrested Sunday following an investigation stemming from a threat about an area school made on social media.
Around 7:30 a.m. on Friday, March 31, Archuleta School District Superintendent Rick Holt sent an email to district families notifying them that the previous night the district was made aware of a threat on social media.
“We immediately contacted law enforcement and have been working closely with them throughout the night,” the email states. “We met early this morning and based on the current investigation have determined that it is safe to attend school today. In an abundance of caution we will have additional law enforcement presence on campus.”
Later that day, the Pagosa Springs Police Department (PSPD) issued a press release stating the department “has been working diligently with the school district and other law enforcement agencies regarding this incident.”
After also relaying that the PSPD and Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office provided additional security to all area schools as a precaution, it states, “The investigation has determined the suspect to be a 16-year-old juvenile male. The juvenile suspect is a resident of another state. Law enforcement in that jurisdiction has been in constant contact with the juvenile. There are no other suspects regarding this incident.”
The press release further notes, “Due to the age of the suspect no other identifying information can or will be released under Colorado law.”
It notes a Colorado District Court warrant was issued for the arrest of the juvenile for “Interference with staff, faculty, or students of an educational institution C.R.S. 18-9-109.”
On Monday, PSPD Chief William Rockensock reported the suspect is from New Mexico, was arrested Sunday and subsequently appeared in front of a judge.
On Tuesday, Holt reported the suspect “was a student in the district but is no longer enrolled in our district.”
At about 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 3, an email about an unrelated incident was sent out to Pagosa Springs Middle School families from Principal Chris Hinger.
That email states, in part, “Because student safety is of utmost importance, I want to inform you that today at lunch, several students suspected a peer of having a gun based on the way they reached into their backpack and had something shiny in their sweatshirt pocket. The student being accused reported to the office immediately and told the administration of the accusations. Police were involved and a thorough investigation ensued following our safety procedures. It was determined that no gun was present and there was no threat to student safety.”
Community meeting scheduled for April 10
On Wednesday morning, ASD announced a community meeting to be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 10, in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.
“The purpose of the meeting is to increase awareness, understanding, and transparency around safety protocols and procedures currently in place and provide an opportunity to respond to community questions,” the announcement reads. “In attendance will be Pagosa Springs Police Department, Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department, School Board members, and District and Building Leaders.”
The announcement also noted the meeting will be broadcast via Zoom webinar at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85080066051. The link is also available at www.mypagosaschools.com under the community tab.
The announcement adds that anyone who has questions they would like addressed at the meeting can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.