Former Dakota Ridge High School student arrested for school threat

Ex-student out of jail; must wear tracking device

LITTLETON, Colo. - A former Dakota Ridge High School student was arrested last weekend after Jefferson County sheriff's officials say he made threats against the school and a female student he knows.

After learning of the threat Saturday, deputies arrested the 18-year-old man the same day at his home, said Jefferson County sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley. He was booked into jail on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence harassment. Sheriff's officials did not release the suspect's name.

The young man was released from jail Wednesday, but a judge required him to wear a GPS-tracking anklet that will alert authorities if he goes near the school or the female student's residence, Kelley said. A protection order also prohibits him from approaching the school or the female student.

Jefferson County Public Schools sent notifications on Wednesday to parents of Dakota Ridge High School students informing them about the former student's arrest for "making a threat against the school."

The district added that because of the threat, sheriff's deputies will increase their presence in the area of the school, which is located at 13399 W. Coal Mine Ave. near Littleton.

The notification says that additional details cannot be shared because the case is under investigation.

The lack of information frustrates some parents, including at least one who kept her child home from Dakota Ridge Thursday because she wants more details on the nature of the threat.

"I want to know as much as everyone else knows, because I have a daughter who goes to that school. And I'm not sending her back there until I know that it's safe," the mother told 7NEWS. The parent didn't want her name used.

Specifically, the mother wants to know the name of the former student who made the threat -- among other details.

As for the suspect wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor, the mother said, "If you're really determined, you can saw that thing off."

"There's been too much of this happening recently and I take it very seriously," said the mother, who cited the deadly shooting last month at Arapahoe High School.

Jefferson County Public Schools spokesman Melissa Reeves said the district understands complaints that parental notifications are sometimes too "cryptic" and parents want more information.

But in cases where there's an ongoing criminal investigation, the school district relies on law enforcement officials to help craft a notification so it doesn't harm the investigation or violate the rights of an individual who has not -- may never -- be arrested.

Reeves said the district strives to provide parents and student with swift information that informs them about any potential threats.

"We try to give them all the information we have, but I have to admit sometimes it's cryptic because we can't tell them the full story, because either law enforcement has asked us not to or they're not ready to confirm something right yet," Reeves said.

Here's the text of the full Wednesday notification message from the district:

Voice Message

This is an important message from Dakota Ridge High School.

We want you to know that a former Dakota Ridge student has been arrested for making a threat against the school. This matter is now being investigated by law enforcement and because of that, we can’t share any details with you at this time. However, you will see increased police presence in the area. This is a standard practice as part of the Jeffco Public Schools’ safety plan. We want to reinforce the importance of talking with your student about reporting any and all potential safety concerns to you, the school, and the Sheriff’s Office at 303-271-0211 no matter how insignificant they believe it might be.

Students can also text or call the Safe2Tell program to report safety concerns anonymously. The phone number is 877-542-7233 or text S2T to 274637.

The safety of students and staff is our top priority. If you have any questions, please call the school at 303-982-1970.