CHS students safe, CPD investigating hoax 911 call

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 2:11 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Police say a hoax report sent them speeding to Charlottesville High School Monday, September 19.

Emergency responders were called out to CHS around 1:20 p.m., leading to officers methodically searching the hallways while the school went into lockdown.

“All the cops started coming inside the school and then surrounding the whole building,” senior Edgar Torres said. “Someone had prank called the school, so I think that’s really not a joke.”

“We were sure that it was a hoax,” CPD Interim Chief Tito Durrette said. “There can be a consequence from it, puts everybody at risk... first responders that are racing to the scene and then it puts the community in fear. There can be some legal ramifications.”

CHS Principal Rashaad Pitt released a statement saying a message went to 911 saying students were hurt. He says this isn’t true, and whoever called it in could face legal consequences.

“Calling in a false report to the police is illegal,” CPD said in a press release. “Our officers are currently investigating this crime.”

Eastern View High School in Culpeper County and Fredericksburg Academy in Spotsylvania County also believe they were targets of hoax calls.

CHS says this incident caused extreme stress and disruption. Counselors and mental health professionals are on-hand to speak with students and staff.

Principal Rashaad Pitt’s full statement:

“This afternoon the Charlottesville Police Department received a 911 call about CHS that has since been determined to be a hoax. The message went to 911 and falsely indicated that a number of CHS students were hurt. We have now learned that this hoax call has also been reported in other communities.

Even though the school reported no unusual activity, CHS entered into a lockdown to allow the police to do a thorough search. After the search, the CPD identified no unusual activity or threat and gave the all-clear for CHS to resume their normal activity.

Calling in a false report to the police is illegal, and the police are investigating this crime. We take such matters very seriously and will not tolerate such harmful misinformation.

In addition, this false report caused extreme stress and disruption at CHS and in our community. Counselors and mental health professionals are on hand at the school to speak with students and staff. We encourage families to check in with your students tonight.”


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