Second student charged in Hough HS bomb hoax

Second student charged in Hough HS bomb hoax

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Students filing out of Hough High School following Monday's report of a suspicious item on the campus.


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on April 29, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 4 at 5:16 AM

Hough High School

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CORNELIUS, N.C. -- A second arrest in last week's bomb hoax at Hough High School in Cornelius led to yet another evacuation Monday over concerns of a suspicious device.

Student Bronco Villafranca, 18, is charged with perpetrating a hoax by use of a false bomb and conspiracy.

Fellow student Riley Bowlin was arrested last week following Tuesday's hoaxes.

Monday, police say they uncovered information about Villafranca as a second suspect in the bomb hoax and when they talked to him, Villafranca told investigators another student had a suspicious device in school.

That led to the school's third evacuation since last Tuesday.

Students say the evacuation order came over the intercom during third period classes.

"We got the text, ‘Come and get us, please come and get us,’" said parent Ann DeMeis, who waited in line to pick up her son after he texted her.

"Everyone was like 'ugh', said student Micaila Walsh.  "It's hard to believe when it's happened for the third time."

Students and staff poured outside and waited in the football stadium stands while police, firefighters and CMPD's bomb squad checked the school.

"It kind of gets annoying, everyone wants to leave but they lock everyone in," said student Christian Hoffman.

Ruth Tellez saw at least one of her classmates in custody.

"We saw him with hands cuffed and said, 'What's going on, what's going on?’"

The suspicious device turned out not to be hazardous.  Police aren't saying what it is.

"Just another day at Hough High School," said parent Pat Flaherty, "Stupid kids doing stupid things. It disrupts your work day, it scares the heck out of the kids and it's dumb. There's no excuse for it. The timing is awful with what's happened in Boston. It's ridiculous, I'm furious."

A "secure custody order" has been obtained for the juvenile, and officials say he will be transported to a juvenile detention facility.

According to jail records, Villafranca has not yet been booked in to the Mecklenburg County Jail.

Students were evacuated from the Hough High School campus for a report of a suspicious item on Monday morning.

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department bomb squad cleared the scene and deemed the suspicious item "non-hazardous" about 1:15 Monday afternoon.

CMS Police say a cursory search of the building was then conducted. The official "all-clear" was given at 2:05, and reentry to the building was permitted.

(Click here to view images from the scene)

School officials said all students and staff were safe, and were evacuated "out of an abundance of caution" to the school's football field.

Hough High School was evacuated twice in one day last week for reports of a suspicious device on the campus. The first report came in last Tuesday morning; officials cleared the campus and found no devices.

The second call came in in the noon hour on Tuesday. The students were moved to the school's football field before being released early for the day. A bomb squad searched the building and found a package, but police said the package was not dangerous.

Cornelius Police arrested student Riley Bowlin in connection with the first threat against the campus last Tuesday. He's charged with one felony count of making a false bomb report