By RAY QUIROGA
Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS
According to Port Isabel Fire Marshal Rodrigo Garcia, at about 9:37 a.m. last Friday, an 11-year-old Derry student, who was being escorted by a teacher, pulled one of the school’s fire alarms, forcing the evacuation of the student body and staff. First responders were also called to the scene fully expecting to confront an emergency situation when arriving to the campus, Garcia said.
When asked by the teacher why he pulled the alarm, the male student replied with a shrug, saying only that he did it because he wanted to.
But while the student may have believed that his actions would warrant a slap on the wrist, Garcia said that the young suspect and his parents were a bit shocked to discover that pulling or causing a false alarm in a school is a jailable offense, no matter the age of the perpetrator.
Garcia added that if the perpetrator is under the age of 10, the suspect’s parent or parents could be fined and or jailed.
In this particular case, Garcia said the juvenile was taken to the Port Isabel Police Department where he was booked for causing a false alarm at a public school which is a Class “A” misdemeanor in the State of Texas, and he was ultimately remanded to the Darrel Hester Juvenile Justice Center in San Benito where he awaited bail. Garcia went on to add that because the incident occurred in a public school, the incident jumps from a Class “C” to a Class “A” misdemeanor.
Garcia said that both the boy and his mother were remorseful and began to cry when they realized the severity of the child’s actions.
Garcia concluded by saying that this incident was the third false alarm he investigated within the week. The other two occurred at the Garriga Elementary and the Port Isabel Junior High campus. No suspects were apprehended in those incidents.
Read this story in the Dec. 20 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.