High school student faces 20 years in prison for Facebook messages
An 18-year-old high school student from the greater Boston area has been arrested and charged with making terroristic threats after police were alerted to “disturbing verbiage” on his personal Facebook page.
Authorities have set bond at one million dollars for Cameron B. D’Ambrosio of Methuen, MA following a Thursday afternoon arraignment one day after he was apprehended at his home around 30 miles north of Boston.
Police say D’Ambrosio, a senior at Methuen High School, authored eye-catching messages this week with his personal social networking account.
In a joint statement released by the offices of the superintendent of schools and the Methuen Police Department Wednesday, authorities say an anonymous student alerted the school that afternoon of a Facebook message from D’Ambrosio that contained “disturbing verbiage.” Once the assistant principal was made aware of the issue the school quickly reached out to law enforcement, who in turn apprehended D’Ambrosio at his home at around 1:30pm. He was not in class at the time officials were made aware of the alleged threats and, according to Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon, only around 30 minutes passed between when time the school made contact with law enforcement and when they had the suspect in custody.
“He posted a threat in the form of rap where he mentioned the White House, the Boston Marathon bombing and said, ‘everybody you will see what I am going to do, kill people,” Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon told the Valley Patriot on Wednesday. “[H]e did threaten to kill a bunch of people and specifically mentioned the Boston Marathon and the White House. The threat was disturbing enough for us to act and I think our officers did the right thing.” A YouTube account has since surfaced of D’Ambrosio showcasing his amateur rapping.
Solomon added that the student “did not make a specific threat against the school or any particular individuals,” but that the content of his posts were alarming enough to warrant a police response.
“I’m not in reality, So when u see me (expletive) go insane and make the news, the paper, and the (expletive) federal house of horror known as the white house, Don’t (expletive) cry or be worried because all YOU people (expletive) caused this (expletive),” reads a redacted version of one post presented to Weymouth and made available to the Herald.
“(Expletive) a boston bominb wait till u see the (expletive) I do, I’ma be famous rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me!” the post continued.
Superintendent of Schools Judy Scannell told the local Valley Patriot that the school is grateful that one of the students knew to speak up about the messages. “Once again we have to commend the Methuen High School Student who came forward, we always say, if you see something, say something, and that’s what this student did," Scannell said. "We also want to commend the school safety officers and the administration for bringing this to our attention immediately. Threats of this kind of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, not in Methuen they won’t.”
“Methuen Public Schools as well as the Methuen Police Department has zero tolerance for this behavior. We believe that all students deserve to learn in a welcoming, non-threatening environment free from intimidation and physical threats,” continued the joint statement issued by Scannell and Solomon on Wednesday.
Court records and police reports obtained by the Boston Herald show that police seized an Xbox 360 gaming console and computer equipment from D’Ambrosio’s home. The Associated Press reports that "Detectives are also looking deeper at his Facebook page," and the Valley Patriot called into question other potential items of interest discovered on his account:
“He also had a disturbing satanic photo posted as well as a photo of himself on a “Wanted Poster” that reads “Wanted Dead or Alive” [sic] a quick perusal of his Facebook page shows D’Ambrosio’s unusual interest in gangs, violence and a criminal lifestyle,” wrote the paper.
D’Ambrosio pleaded not guilty during his Thursday morning arraignment faces up to 20 years if convicted on one count of making a bomb threat.