Arrest in bomb threats a relief to Timberline

Published June 15, 2007

A Thurston County juvenile court commissioner ordered Thursday that a 15-year-old boy arrested for allegedly e-mailing seven bomb threats to Timberline High School remain in custody.

Josh Glazebrook, a 10th-grade student at Timberline, was arrested at his home about 2 a.m. Thursday, Lacey police said.

Juvenile Court Commissioner Indu Thomas ordered Glazebrook held on suspicion of seven counts of threats to bomb a school, two counts of identity theft and one count of felony harassment, pending a “safe to be at large” evaluation.

Under that evaluation, a court officer will determine whether Glazebrook’s release would be a threat to the community. The evaluation should be completed today. A juvenile court judge will decide whether Glazebrook can be released on bail based on the evaluation’s results during a hearing that could be scheduled as soon as Monday, said John Sinclair, Glazebrook’s attorney.

Prosecutor Jodilyn Erikson-Muldrew said in court Thursday that the electronically delivered threats to Timberline showed “an incredible sophistication” and “incredible planning.”

Sinclair argued in asking for Glazebrook’s release that he had “no means or desire to actually carry these threats out.”

“The threats can be classified as a hoax, I suppose,” Sinclair said in court.

The state’s school bomb-threat law makes no distinction between offenders who intend to carry out a threat and those who do not.

“It shall not be a defense to any prosecution under this section that the threatened bombing or injury was a hoax,” the state statute reads.

Police seized computer equipment from Glazebrook’s home; no explosives were found, Lacey police said. In explaining the two identity-theft charges, Erikson-Muldrew said Glazebrook used a computer to steal the identification of two people, then used those identifications to make some of the threats.

“I believe he has a very high level of sophistication with regard to computers,” Erikson-Muldrew said.

Web sites that contained copies of the threatening e-mails were forwarded to The Olympian, and some of the e-mails had a signature that suggested they were sent by a student other than Glazebrook.

The felony harassment charge is for a threat to kill an individual person.

Timberline began receiving bomb threats May 30 via e-mail, and two threats were found in bathrooms, causing evacuations nearly every school day. The charges against Glazebrook are connected to the threats sent by e-mail and posted on Web sites, not the handwritten ones found in the bathrooms.

The FBI assisted Lacey police in the investigation, but prosecutors and law enforcement officers were mum about how they developed evidence to tie Glazebrook to the threats.

“Massive amounts of resources were used in tracking this individual,” Erikson-Muldrew said in court.

Larry Carr, a spokesman for the FBI in Seattle, said: “Anyone that’s on a computer ultimately knows that anything they type ultimately can be tracked and traced. How we go about doing that, I’m not at liberty to say.”

Glazebrook’s mother and adult sister were in tears during the court appearance Thursday. Sinclair said Glazebrook’s mother works for the state, and his father is a general contractor.

“They’re shocked, genuinely shocked,” Sinclair said.

Glazebrook, slight of build and with dark hair, was dressed in a blue jumpsuit. He appeared composed during the hearing.

“This is a good kid,” Sinclair said of his client. Sinclair added that “he’s a pretty good student. He’s never been in trouble before. I think this is an aberration.

“If he is convicted, obviously, he’ll have a felony mark on him, and it’ll look bad,” Sinclair said. “... We just have to remember that this is a 15-year-old kid.”

In arguing that Glazebrook be held without bail, Erikson- Muldrew mentioned the “tremendous impact” the e-mailed threats have had on students, others at the school and police resources, along with the emotional toll they took.

Thomas ordered that Glazebrook have no access to computers or other electronic media while in custody. Lacey Police Cmdr. John Suessman credited students, tips and federal and local law enforcement agencies for the arrest. Suessman said he did not want to explain how investigators were led to Glazebrook because it would compromise future investigations.

The investigation continues, but Suessman said he does not expect any more arrests.

Lacey Police Lt. Phil Comstock added, “We’re confident at this point that he was acting alone in transmitting these threats.”

Erikson-Muldrew said she has 72 hours, excluding weekends, to file formal charges against Glazebrook, and she plans to do so. If Glazebrook is convicted, the standard sentencing range in juvenile court would be a maximum of 90 days. However, a commissioner or judge has the option of holding any juvenile in custody until age 21 if aggravating circumstances are present.

No single tip has been identified that would make anyone eligible for a Crime Stoppers award, Comstock said.

Comstock acknowledged the tremendous amount of resources diverted to investigate the case but did not have a cost. He credited Timberline students for assisting police.

“We met a lot of kids in this case that stepped up and said, ‘Not in our school,’ ” he said. “They wanted this thing to end.”

Jeremy Pawloski covers public safety for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5465 or [email protected]

Jeremy Pawloski - The Olympian