Methuen Student Charged Over ‘Alarming’ & ‘Disturbing’ School Threat
BOSTON (CBS) – A Methuen High School student was arrested after allegedly threatening a Columbine-style attack at the school, and then threatening to kill a fellow student who reported the threats, according to Essex County prosecutors.
Jacob Butze-Maille, 17, is charged with threatening to commit murder, intimidating a witness, and willfully communicating a threat concerning a dangerous item.
“The defendant had made what I categorize as a very specific threat to another student informing her of his desire to quote “pull another Columbine”, Kimberly Gillespie, an assistant district attorney for Essex county said.
Butze-Maille, had been living at a home for trouble teens, but was attending Methuen High.
“He went on to say he would specifically buy an AK-47 that week and shoot them all at the school,” said Gillespie in court today.
Butze-Maille, a junior, allegedly made the comments to a 15-year-old girl and said she would be the first one shot if she told anyone. But the girl did report the alleged threats to school officials.
Supporters of Butze-Maille declined to comment at court on Friday.
At a press conference Friday afternoon with Methuen’s superintendent and police chief, authorities said they were taking the case very seriously.
Authorities said they did find some notes, but no specific plan. Still they said there may have been something in the works.
“There was a potential that something could have occurred,” said Joseph Solomon, Methuen’s Police Chief. “It was more than the average veiled threat.”
The judge, who called the case “alarming” and “disturbing”, ordered the teen to be detained for up to 90 days.
A lawyer representing Butze-Maille told the judge the teenager has no criminal history and the home where he had been living was offering to take him back with increased supervision.
School went on as scheduled Friday but students and parents were rattled by the allegations.
“It’s just unbelievable,” said Patricia Mazza whose son attends Methuen High School. “I don’t know what these kids are thinking.”
Meghan Bistany, a senior, said she received an automated call this morning informing her of the arrest but that classes were on.
“It’s scary,” said Bistany. “I was scared to come to school.”
Butze-Maille was held at the Methuen Police Department on $10,000 bail. Police say there is no danger to Methuen High students or staff.