CHICAGO — A Lansing teenager has been accused of making a “prolific number of threats” on social media against several Chicago schools, according to the Chicago Police Department.
Jordan Hassell, 18, was taken into custody Thursday and charged Friday with one misdemeanor count of electronic harassment, police said. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance in bond court Friday.
Chicago police held a press conference at Simeon Career Academy High School Thursday, in part to address threats that had allegedly been made against numerous schools throughout the city. The social media threats were traced to Hassell, who police said re-posted social media threats made in another state and directed them toward Chicago Public Schools.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said the threats were not credible but that his department takes any possibility of violence in schools “very seriously.”
Brown said a suspect, later identified as Hassell, was taken into custody Thursday and that he had made “a pretty prolific number of threats.”
Brown also said Hassell is on electronic monitoring stemming from similar charges filed against him in an unidentified “adjoining city.”
Hassell’s arrest comes amid several similar threats made in Northwest Indiana, causing schools in East Chicago and Hammond to close for in-person learning this week.
A child was taken into custody in East Chicago Thursday in connection to threats made against East Chicago Central High School. Deputy Chief of Police Jose Rivera said he believed the threats were a prank and part of a nationwide social media trend.
The Hammond Police Department directed inquiries about the threats in that city to the school district. City Schools of Hammond Superintendent Scott Miller did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Hammond closed its middle and high schools to in-person learning Friday.