Teen charged in Jasper bomb threat

Teen charged in Jasper bomb threat

A business is filing charges on a Kirbyville teen who police have identified as a suspect in one of two bogus bomb threats recently called in to locations in Jasper, police report.

According to a news release from the Jasper Police Department, officers responded to the Walmart Supercenter located at 800 W. Gibson St. on March 4 after employees received two phone calls at approximately 8 p.m. from a suspect claiming to be bringing a bomb to the business. The call came from a restricted number. Officers searched for any potentially explosive devices but found no evidence of a real threat, Lt. G.W. Foster stated. 

A few days later on March 6 at approximately 7 p.m., Whataburger restaurant at 1365 S. Wheeler St. in Jasper also received a bomb threat, and again police responded and found nothing. This time, however, the caller's number was not restricted. Police obtained a cell phone number of an unknown suspect. 

In the course of his investigation, Jasper Police Detective Josh Hadnot determined that the two incidents were not related to one another, and he was also able to identify the suspects in both the Walmart and the Whataburger threats. He reportedly discovered that two juveniles had called in the threats to the separate businesses as pranks.

Whataburger chose not to pursue charges against the juvenile suspect who called that business, but the other suspect was not so lucky. Due to the disruption in business caused by the bomb threat, Walmart filed terroristic threat charges against the juvenile, identifed by police as a 15-year-old male from Kirbyville. The charge is a class A misdemeanor. 

Police are withholding the names of the juvenile suspects due to age.