A Long Island teenager is facing charges after police say he made threats against his high school. The teen's father says it's all a misunderstanding. News 4's Marc Santia reports.
A Long Island teenager is facing charges he made threats against his high school.
Seventeen-year-old Ryan Bernhardt pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday in a Hempstead courtroom. Bail was set at $30,000.
Police say he was overheard making threats inside a bagel store near Massapequa High School on Tuesday.
Witnesses told police he said he "wanted to bomb the school and be a terrorist," as well as other threatening comments. He also said he had a list of people he wished had been at the movie theater shootings in July in Aurora, Colo., prosecutors said, according to Newsday.
He was charged with making a terrorist threat, which is a felony. Attorney Richard Stafford said his client was an honor student and "a good kid."
Bernhardt had no weapons in his possession, nor were any found in his home.
The teen's father, Bob Bernhardt, told Newsday that after the school said the threats would be reported to police, he thought, "I didn't know it'd turn into all this," he said.
"In this day and age they have to take it so seriously, but it's my kid," he said."
In a letter sent to parents, Massapequa principal Barbara Williams said all threats are taken very seriously. She added Bernhardt also faces school sanctions.