Boyne youth arrested for bomb threat

This hard news story began with a police department news release.

Joseph Benjamin Baugh, 18, of Boyne City, was arrested on Friday June 1 in connection with bomb threats made to Boyne City Public Schools.

Baugh has been charged with one count of “false report or threat of terrorism” which is a felony and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

County two is for “false report or threat of bomb/harmful device” and is also a felony charge. It carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine.

Count three is for malicious destruction of property, a misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to one year incarceration and/or $2,000 in fines.

His bond was set at $250,000 on June 5.

In the Boyne City Police Department’s affidavit of probable cause, it is stated that, on Jan. 24 of this year, Boyne City police received the report of a large rock which had been thrown through a first-floor window of Boyne City High School.

Students were instructed to “stand in place” while Boyne City Police Assistant Chief Kevin Spate looked into the matter.

Ultimately, two large rocks had been found to be thrown in through the top window of the exterior door to the art room at the high school. The classroom floor was covered in glass from the broken window.

“Upon closer inspection, Spate located a handwritten note taped to one of the rocks, written in black ink on a half-sheet of lined notebook paper, that read, ‘There is a bomb set in HS, MS, ES Hint. Either of the libraries and check lockers will set off at 3:00 PM,’” it states in the affidavit.

Spate requested a bomb-detecting dog from the Michigan State Police and both Boyne Police and the Charlevoix County Sheriff Office sent several officers to assist in addition to EMS and fire services.

Students were then evacuated from the schools. All three schools were searched and no bombs were found.

While reviewing security video from the high school, police discovered an individual at the school at 1:21 a.m. on Jan. 24.

The subject wore an oversized jacked over a gray hooded sweatshirt with the hood up. The subject also wore black Nike running shoes with distinct bright red or pink soles. Subject also had a long red lanyard hanging out of his left pants pocket and what appeared to be a red cell phone in his hand. After a few moments, the subject can be seen on video looking around and behind before walking toward the art room door.

Video from a different camera that was recording from inside the commons area shows the subject coming into view and then throwing something in the direction of the art room door several times.

Police reviewed footage from earlier which showed students inside the school. They identified Baugh as wearing shoes similar to the ones worn by the subject on the late-night video.

The video during school also showed Baugh with a red lanyard and a red cell phone, both similar to those in the video.

A search warrant was obtained for Baugh’s residence. Officers seized the shoes in question along with notebook paper and samples of scotch tape thought to be used in the vandalism.

On March 13, Boyne City Police Officer Craig Remsberg interviewed a student who said he had been told by a friend that Baugh was the person who threw the rock with the bomb threat attached to it.

Damage to the window and door at Boyne City High School totaled $273.92.

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