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Student Threatened to Bomb Central High, Hernando Deputies Say

Arrest | Crime | Public Safety

He made the statement in the comments of an online trivia game, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said.

HERNANDO COUNTY – A student was charged with making an online threat to blow up Central High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

Jonathan Chris Cunningham, 16, was charged with one count of intimidation, write or send threats to kill or injure, which is a felony. Deputies said Cunningham admitted making the threat, saying it was only a “joke.”

But Sheriff Al Nienhuis said such threats are no joke.

“There is nothing funny – or cute – or cool – about threatening violence, regardless of the intention,” Nienhuis said. “Parents, teachers, and students need to have open and frank discussions. They need to talk about the foolishness and stupidity of mentioning such things as bringing a gun to school or threatening to set off a bomb. Many young people do not understand the emotional and financial cost to the community of these intentionally false reports.

“Unfortunately, these criminal charges will also forever change the life of the suspect. The only effective deterrent will be positive peer pressure. Fellow students must, for example, talk about how idiotic and foolish it is to even consider making such statements, even when those statements are supposedly made as a cruel ‘joke.'”

In an abundance of caution, a large team of deputies performed a sweep/search of Central High School early this morning (April 17). Nothing out of the ordinary was found.

Deputies said that about 3:30 p.m. Monday (April 16), deputies received at least two complaints regarding a person threatening to set off an explosive at Central High School in Brooksville.

The people who notified the HCSO had been playing an on-line trivia game called Game Show. During the game, a comment was posted on the messaging screen by a player with the username of “Nidolabz.” The comment was, “I am going to set off an explosive at Central High School, spring hill florida tomorrow.” Other players took screenshots of the comment and notified the HCSO.

Deputies went to the school to meet with administrators about the threat.

Crime Analysis Manager Peggy Brooks conducted extensive research and was able to link the username of Nidolabz to a student at Springstead High School in Spring Hill.

Deputy V. Mascitelli and Lt. J. Drewal went to that student’s home. While there, deputies searched the home of the student but found nothing out of the ordinary. The student then told the deputies that his friend, Jonathan Cunningham, is the person who uses that name.

Deputies went to Cunningham’s home. They said Cunningham admitted making the threat, saying it was only a “joke.” Deputies arrested him and searched his home but found nothing out of the ordinary.

Deputies said that the FBI also found out about the threat through internal intelligence gathering. The FBI contacted the HCSO and was also in the preliminary stages of deploying manpower and electronic resources to Hernando County to help investigate. But the FBI cancelled those resources when the sheriff’s office found the person accused of making the threat.

Hernando Sheriff | Crime | Bomb Threat | Arrests | Tampabay News

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Student Threatened to Bomb Central High, Hernando Deputies Say
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Student Threatened to Bomb Central High, Hernando Deputies Say
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He made the statement in the comments of an online trivia game, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.
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TB Reporter
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