Juvenile arrested on felony charges for making threats against Manitou Springs School District

Crime

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. — Manitou Springs city officials and local authorities believe they have apprehended the person responsible for making at least two threats against the school district in December 2021 and January 2022.

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the Manitou Springs School District and the Manitou Springs Police Department (MSPD) began an investigation into a threat made against schools within the school district. On the same day, school leaders decided to cancel school on the following day (Dec. 15) for Manitou Springs Middle School and Manitou Springs High School.

According to Superintendent Elizabeth Domangue, while the threat was unsubstantiated at the time, school leaders and authorities needed more time to investigate.

The investigation continued once a similar threat was made during the first week of January 2022.

According to the city of Manitou Springs, officers identified and arrested a juvenile suspect. That individual has been charged with two felony counts of Inciting Destruction of Life or Property (CRS 18-11-202); two felony counts of False Report of Explosives, Weapons, or Harmful Substances (CRS 18-8-110); and two misdemeanor counts of Interference with Staff, Faculty, or Students of Educational Institution (CRS 18-9-109). 

Due to the fact that a juvenile is involved in this matter, the city has decided not to release any identifying information nor any additional information about the investigation.

A full copy of Superintendent Domangue’s letter to parents and students can be found below:

Full letter to parents and students

Dear Manitou Springs School District Community,

As I have always communicated, when we can provide updates we will. These updates, at times, often occur after investigations and after we have received guidance and direction from law enforcement agencies, which is critical. 

Late in the evening on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, I, in partnership with our district team and Manitou Springs Police Department, made the difficult decision to not have school on the following day (December 15) for Manitou Springs Middle School and Manitou Springs High School. This was the result of a threat that we received after school on December 14. While the threat was unsubstantiated (no leads) at the time, we needed additional time to further understand the dynamics of the threat. As we all know, there was then an unusual wind storm that impacted our community significantly, including telephones and internet access for MSSD. 

As the press release from Manitou Springs Police Department reads, the threat was addressed by a comprehensive and collaborative team approach between Manitou Springs School District, Manitou Springs Police Department, and other significant law enforcement agencies. 

In the Press Release below, the MSPD is able to provide more information on the situation. 

Manitou Springs Police Department Arrest Juvenile in Relation with Threats Made to the Manitou Springs School District

MANITOU SPRINGS CO – In December of 2021, Manitou Springs Police Department (MSPD) began an investigation into a threat against schools within the Manitou Springs School District. The investigation continued further once a similar threat was made on the first week of January, 2022. Investigating Officers identified a juvenile suspect, who after investigation, was subsequently arrested on January 6th, 2022 and charged with two felony counts of Inciting Destruction of Life or Property (CRS 18-11-202); two felony counts of False Report of Explosives, Weapons, or Harmful Substances (CRS 18-8-110); and two misdemeanor counts of Interference with Staff, Faculty, or Students of Educational Institution (CRS 18-9-109). 

The Manitou Springs School District remains a great partner of ours and remained helpful and fully cooperative throughout this investigation. Due to the fact that a juvenile is involved in this matter, we will not be releasing any identifying information on the arrested party, nor any further information on the investigation. In addition, please remember that this juvenile is innocent until proven guilty.

We would like to thank:

  • The Manitou Springs Police Department and other law enforcement agencies that assisted in this investigation to prevent the potential for school violence. 
  • The staff of MSMS and MSHS who asked important questions and stepped up in tremendous ways. 
  • Our parents and guardians for having important conversations with your children and being partners with us along the way. 
  • Our students for the care they have shown for their peers, staff, and themselves. 
  • Our school and district administrators, District Security Team, and SRO Mandy Strider for their diligence and willingness to leave no stone uncovered. 

As a public educator for over 20 years, my first lesson as a pre-service teacher was “Safety First,” especially when a child’s parent is not present. This goes for all children. I, along with every staff member, are also the children of our parents. “Safety First” requires collective efficacy and collaboration as a community approach. 

When we see a child who needs a little more, there is a story. 

When we see a child who is angry, there is a story. 

When we see a child who is happy, there is a story. 

Let’s continue to wrap our arms around children. 

We rely on our community to help us ensure the safety of our educational process.  If anyone sees or hears about a threat or a safety issue, speak up and share this information with a trusted adult, a law enforcement agency or report it via Safe2Tell at 1-877-542-7233 or safe2tell.org.

We will be providing an opportunity to engage in a community dialogue about safety, security, and wellness. More information will be provided about the details of this community dialogue. 

Very sincerely,

Elizabeth

Elizabeth A. Domangue, PhD

Superintendent of Schools

719-685-2001 (office)

719-502-5387 (cell)

www.mssd14.org

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local Stories

More Local