Student Arrest

Who: 
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Criminal Intelligence Unit

William Elliott Freeman, III (Arrested)
DOB: 07/04/2000
Address: 4348 Plaza Drive, Holiday
School: Center Academy - 34054 US Highway 19 North, Palm Harbor
Charge: False Report about Planting a Bomb, Explosive or Weapon of Mass Destruction

William Elliott Freeman, Jr. (Father of Arrested)
DOB: 07/12/1969
Address: 4348 Plaza Drive, Holiday

What:
Deputies have arrested and charged a student at the Center Academy for False Report about Planting a Bomb, Explosive or Weapon of Mass Destruction, after he posted a threat on Snapchat.

When:
The initial incident occurred on Friday, September 7, 2018. 

The suspect was arrested at about 11:37 am, on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

Where:
The photograph was placed on the social media platform Snapchat before school, while Freeman was at his residence, located at 4348 Plaza Drive in Holiday.

The suspect was arrested at his school, the Center Academy, located at 34054 US Highway 19 North in Palm Harbor.

Why/How:
According to detectives, the suspect, identified as 18-year-old William Freeman, posted a threatening photograph and statement on his Snapchat account before school on Friday, September 7, 2018. The photo showed Freeman, standing in front of mirror, holding what appeared to be a handgun, with the statement, “Don’t Come to School Today (It’s a BeBe Gun).”

Freeman is a 12th grade student at the Center Academy, located at 34054 US Highway 19 North, Palm Harbor.

On September 12, 2018 at approximately 11:36 am, deputies were contacted by the school, after another student brought the Snapchat photograph to their attention. Freeman was identified by school staff as being the student in the photograph.

Deputies made contact with Freeman and arrested him after he admitted to taking the photograph and placing it on Snapchat. Freeman was charged with False Report about Planting a Bomb, Explosive or Weapon of Mass Destruction, and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.

Detectives conducted further follow-up and they interviewed Freeman at the Pinellas County Jail, and he was cooperative. Freeman admitted to taking the photograph, placing it on Snapchat as a joke, and told detectives that he had no plans of causing any harm at the school. Freeman stated the post was meant to be seen in a private group chat and he did not intend for the post to be perceived as a threat. Freeman informed detectives that the handgun he was holding in the photograph, was a BB gun.

Detectives made contact with Freeman’s father at his residence located at 4348 Plaza Drive in Holiday. Detectives were able to locate and verify the handgun depicted in the Snapchat photograph to be a BB gun. There were no other weapons in the home.    

As always, we encourage the public to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately and we will diligently investigate all reported information.

The investigation continues. 


Booking photo of Freeman

Posted by Jessica Mackesy Wednesday, September 12, 2018 10:59:00 PM Categories: General News

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