Fourth grader accused of sending threatening messages

By Tara Morgan - bio | email | facebook

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - A fourth grader in Hanover is accused of sending threatening messages to a classmate. Now that little boy is in trouble with the law.

The Hanover Sheriff's Office tells me they investigated two threatening messages sent anonymously through a web site. Authorities said this situation involves two boys at Mechanicsville Elementary. But said once they tracked down the one responsible, there was no indication of an imminent threat to anyone at the school.

A source tells NBC12, one message threatened to kill a boy and the second threatened rape and kidnapping. Captain Mike Trice with the Hanover Sheriff's Office said two messages were received by the family of one boy. The wording concerned Mechanicsville Elementary, parents and police.

Trice said the IP address led them to the home computer of the boy who sent them. The investigation started last Friday, and by this Wednesday, Trice said the situation was resolved.

The scenario is troubling for Richmond psychologist, Dr. Alan Entin.

"First of all that they a: know about such behaviors and they're just sort of developing concepts of ethical behavior and permanent behavior," said Dr. Entin.

Dr. Entin said it's better to stop this kind of behavior now at such a young age.

"It could be an indication this young person handles his feelings of rejection, his feelings of negativity, his feelings of 'I don't like you' in very hostile, aggressive, violent ways," said Dr. Entin.

Trice said the boy will be charged here in Hanover juvenile court with threatening electronic communication. He adds whatever the motivations were the student didn't have the resources to follow through on the threats.

Trice points out, anything electronic can be traced. A message Dr. Entin says isn't just for children.

"Most people have to learn with all these electronic communications is that they have very serious effects," said Dr. Entin.

One parent said the boy was suspended, but Hanover Schools did not confirm. All they would tell NBC12 is that they're trying to cooperate with the sheriff's office.

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