Arizona college student investigated in Internet death threat

Tuesday, November 2nd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAMMAMISH, Wash. (AP) -- An Arizona State University student was playing a prank when he made an Internet chat-room death threat
that shut down a high school in this eastern Seattle suburb, a King County sheriff's spokesman said.

"He is mortified, absolutely mortified, that this happened. It was just a big joke. He apologizes to the community up here,"
spokesman John Urquhart said Monday.

Classes resumed today at Eastlake High School after being canceled on Monday. Faculty members had been monitoring the chat room run by two Eastlake students because of vulgar language and objectionable
content. On Friday night, someone logged in to the room as "Phantom," and referred to Monday as "doomsday." The message warned other users not to come to school that day because he planned to kill other students and himself.

A faculty member notified the school's co-principals and classes were canceled. The suspect, an 18-year-old Arizona State freshman, has never been to the Pacific Northwest, Urquhart told parents at a Monday
night meeting. "I guess the good news is, there is no threat to the school," he said.

Urquhart said issuing such a threat was a Class C felony that could be prosecuted from where it was sent or received. The King
County Prosecutor's Office will determine whether there is cause to obtain a warrant and extradite him from Arizona, he said.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, students passed through metal detectors Monday at a school where four boys were arrested last week on
charges of planning a racially motivated rampage of bombs and gunfire. The white suspects have pleaded innocent and remained in juvenile detention. Each boy was charged Sunday with delinquency by reason of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, murder or kidnapping and juvenile counts of inducing panic, inciting to violence and possession of criminal tools: a school map that
authorities said was marked with shooting locations.

Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White ordered the school closed and homecoming canceled on Friday. No bombs or guns were found during two searches of the school. Security also was heightened at other public schools in
Cleveland's 77,000-student district.

"I'm quite nervous today. Look at all this security. We won't even be able to converse in the hallway," said Mary Prim, 15, a