DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Villa Park Chief of Police Michael Rivas announced last week that a 13-year-old male Villa Park resident has been accused of threatening another juvenile and his family.

The juvenile appeared at a detention hearing where Judge Demetrios Panoushis ordered that he be detained until at least his next court appearance. He has been charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, a Class 4 felony.

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Villa Park Police Department became aware of an alleged threat made by a juvenile directed at the victim and the victim’s family. It is alleged that during a Snapchat group video, a verbal argument between the juvenile and the victim escalated at which time the juvenile made threatening statements such as he is going to “bring a gun to school … and going to finish what he started,” knowing that the victim’s mother stays at the house he’s “going to spray the house” and knowing that the victim’s younger brother goes to the YMCA after school he would “get him there.” An investigation into the matter led authorities to the juvenile who was taken into custody later that day.

“My office takes any threat of violence directed at a school extremely seriously and anyone suspected of such behavior will be investigated and charged accordingly, regardless of the accused’s age,” Berlin said. “Threats are not harmless jokes or an excuse to blow off steam during an argument, they have a chilling effect on the victims, particularly young victims. I thank the Villa Park Police Department for their quick response and thorough investigation in this case.”

“We have seen an alarming increase in the number of threats made that end up being school related,” Rivas said. “We take all school threats seriously and we will investigate all such incidents vigorously and completely. Schools should be safe spaces where students are free to learn and grow without the fear of violence. The policing community in DuPage County is well trained in Restorative Justice.”

The juvenile’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 9 in front of Judge Panoushis.


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