A 12-year-old from Irvington will be charged in connection with a prank 911 phone call that reported a shooter in the area of several Mahwah schools last week, Police Chief James Batelli said Monday.
The Mahwah police department will file juvenile charges against the prank caller, who attends, “a school for special needs children in Warren,” Batelli said. Police said the prank call was traced to the school. The student was familiar with Mahwah from a field trip taken to the township several years ago, Batelli said.
The prank call, Batelli said, claimed someone shot a person inside a Mahwah Road home, and then ran from the premises. Though it was determined not to be true, Batelli said several safety measures were taken by police and the Mahwah school district at the time the call was placed.
“The seriousness of the call resulted in a significant police response as well as a modified lockdown of one of our public schools,” Batelli said. “While the call was later determined to be a hoax, it demonstrated that our procedures in the event of a real event worked seamlessly.”
Batelli said the police department and school system enacted safety precautions at Betsy Ross and the Ridge Road schools because the caller mentioned streets that were in the vicinity of those schools.
“The Police Department and Board of Education work closely in creating emergency contingency plans designed to provide safeguards for children who attend our schools,” he said.