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The Porter County Juvenile Services Center.

VALPARAISO — A 16-year-old Portage High School student who said he was just joking when he allegedly threatened a female student and the school on social media was taken into custody Tuesday night on a preliminary felony charge.

The unnamed boy, who lives in the unincorporated area of the county, was taken to the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center and faces one count of intimidation, according to the Porter County Sheriff's Department.

Porter County police officers visited the boy's home Tuesday night and he admitted to posting the threat, police said. He said "it was just a joke."

"All threats, to any of our schools are taken very seriously and are no joking matter," police said.

County police said they had also investigated a potential threat stemming back more than a month ago that involved vague comments about a countdown to Dec. 7. But it was determined there was no threat and the countdown referred to an event occurring for the student outside of school.

"As the student had posted the comment to social media, rumors began to surface and the incident was changed into something larger," police said.

Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds said, "We do not take any threats made to the safety of our students, the staff or our community lightly and (they) will not be tolerated as a joke to incite fear. Our combined mission is to maintain a safe and secure learning environment for the students and staff."


Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.