Threatening comments about UAA on Web chat site lead to 15-year-old

ldemer@adn.comDecember 16, 2012 

— Threatening remarks about the University of Alaska Anchorage posted on a Web chat site late Saturday were traced to a 15-year-old Alaska boy, who said he just wanted to see if anyone would respond, according to UAA police.

On the Web site, the person identified himself as "disgruntled, out of work, student loan debts to pay" and made threats to himself as well as UAA, police said in a notice sent out Sunday to UAA students, staff and faculty.

The remarks drew the attention of people from around the country, the FBI, and Anchorage and university police.

UAA Police Chief Rick Shell said he got a call around 3 a.m. Sunday about the matter, which at that point was still unfolding. The comments were posted between 11 p.m. and midnight Saturday, he said.

The FBI was able to determine the location from where the post originated, and an agent and an Alaska state trooper went to the residence early Sunday. The teen lives outside of Anchorage.

"Officials responded to the blogger's residence and discovered that the person behind the keyboard was the 15-year-old son of a former UAA student," the UAA notice said.

The teenager told authorities he didn't intend to hurt anyone at UAA or anywhere else, and apologized. His father said he would make sure his son understood the seriousness of his actions. By 8 a.m., the incident was resolved, the police chief said.

While the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to bring charges, the investigation is continuing into what police see as a very serious matter, Shell said.

As a precaution, university police posted an extra officer at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex on campus Sunday, he said.

Reach Lisa Demer at ldemer@adn.com or 257-4390.

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