Eastside HS receives third bomb hoax

Eastside High School received its third bomb threat in a week Tuesday morning.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) reported the threat came in around 8:50 a.m. and students were initially evacuated to Lake Forest Elementary School before being dismissed for the day.

“The school was cleared at 12:45 p.m.,” said ACSO spokesperson Art Forgey.

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This marks the third threat at Eastside since last Tuesday, when bomb and mass shooting threats hit at all three Newberry schools. A second bomb hoax was called into Eastside a little after noon on Friday.

Since Aug. 19, six Alachua County public schools have received bomb and/or mass shooting threats. The first wave began at Buchholz High School and culminated with the Sept. 13 arrest of 17-year-old BHS student Preston Powers on Sept.13. Powers is connected with at least two of the four hoaxes.

Last Thursday ACSO deputies arrested Newberry High School students, Ransel G. Lugo, 17, and Sarah A. McKay, 15, in connection with making bomb and mass shooting threats. Newberry High School received threats on four straight school days starting Sept. 23 through Sept. 28.

On Friday, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) arrested a student in connection with the Wednesday Gainesville High School bomb threat. GHS evacuated again on Thursday for a second hoax. GHS received bomb hoaxes Friday and Monday and GPD arrested a second student in connection with those two threats. 

Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. met with area law enforcement and Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Carlee Simon on Sept. 30 to address the terrorism, shooting and other violent crimes that have affected the county and disrupted schools, he said in a Facebook statement.

ACSO also responded to a bomb hoax at Santa Fe College on Sept. 14.

ACSO is directing anyone with information to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at (352) 367-4170. Those who have information that leads to the arrest of a suspect can remain completely anonymous by contacting CrimeStoppers through their “P3 Tips” application available through the App Store or Google Play, or by calling (352) 372-STOP (7867) and www.stopcrime.tv.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated.

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