RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Southwest Virginia man was taken into custody Tuesday after being accused of making threats against Smyrna High School.
According to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, 38-year-old Bobby Shabazz Cole of Roanoke, Virginia, was charged with a felony for making false reports.
“We take these threats to schools very seriously and we will prosecute the offenders,” Detective Lt. Chuck Barnes stated.
Cole allegedly made the threats if a staff member was not fired, Detective Stephen Lewis reported.
Officials said the threats were left in a voicemail on the attendance officer’s phone on Sept. 19. Over the course of the investigation, detectives identified Cole as a suspect, so he was interviewed by Roanoke law enforcement two days later.
“Cole stated he never intended to follow through with the threat,” Lewis’ arrest warrant said.
According to authorities, Cole was charged after the threats frightened people and caused the school staff members to deal with a potential emergency.
Cole is reportedly being held on a $100,000 bond at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center. A hearing is set for Thursday, Oct. 13 in General Sessions Court.
Capt. Brad Harrison, who supervises the School Resource Officers’ Division, said he appreciated the detectives’ diligence in tracking down the suspect.
“When people make a threat against Rutherford County Schools, we will go to any lengths to find the offender,” Harrison said.