NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Police say a former high school student posted a threat online that he was contemplating blowing up the school.
Nicholas Hinton, 19, a North Ridgeville resident, was arrested without incident at 6:55 a.m. at a friend’s residence, according to police.
Hinton was charged with inducing panic, a fourth-degree felony, and aggravated menacing, a misdemeanor, and taken to the Lorain County Jail, according to Capt. Marti Garrow.
The arrest came after police learned of the threat from school administrators, who notified them about 6 a.m.
Hinton had no weapons when police arrested him, Garrow said.
“He stays at a couple of different places,” Garrow said. “We’re not sure exactly what his situation is.”
Police said the threat targeted the high school although Hinton did not specifically name the school in the threat, which was posted on the social media picture site, Instagram.
The Instagram posting was reportedly first noticed by former students who forwarded it to school authorities late Thursday evening, according to Superintendent James Powell.
“It’s a good thing that kids trust us enough to give us this information,” Powell said. “We acted swiftly to try and get this under wraps before school started. Any time we hear of something like this, whether it is serious or not, we have to take it seriously and act upon that.”
Hinton is a former student who did not graduate, according to Sgt. Adam Freas, who issued the Police Department’s statement about Hinton’s arrest.
Police believe Hinton acted alone, as no other suspects are being sought, Garrow said.
Powell said it did not appear that other students were aware of the threat when they arrived Friday.
Powell declined to say whether Hinton had been in any trouble prior to Friday’s incident while a student.
Garrow said police are familiar with Hinton.
“We’ve dealt with him before. He has a minor record,” Garrow said.
According to Elyria Municipal Court records, Hinton faced charges from North Ridgeville dating to July. These charges ranged from leaving the scene of an accident and careless operation in one incident, to underage consumption and no operator’s license in another.