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Police: Riverhead Middle School student arrested for possessing knife

The student was charged for unlawful possession of weapons by persons under 16 and released to a parent for a future court appearance.

Thema Ponton and Krista McNally

Jun 12, 2023, 7:27 PM

Updated 402 days ago

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Police: Riverhead Middle School student arrested for possessing knife
The student was charged for unlawful possession of weapons by persons under 16 and released to a parent for a future court appearance.
A 13-year-old Riverhead Middle School student has been arrested for allegedly illegally possessing a weapon.
Riverhead police say they were notified by school officials Monday at around 10:30 a.m. that they confiscated a knife from the student. They say officers went to the school and recovered the knife.
In a letter to parents, the Riverhead superintendent says school administration was told that a student had a weapon. The superintendent says the student, his locker and belongings were searched, and the knife was found by district security and administrators.
The student, who is from Flanders, was charged for unlawful possession of weapons by persons under 16 and released to a parent for a future court appearance.
On Friday, 13- and 14-year-old Riverhead students were arrested after the superintendent says a BB gun and two knifes were discovered during a search of students and their lockers.
The superintendent says that search happened after administrators learned of a "potential altercation with weapons" that was planned for after school.
Those teenagers are also charged with unlawful possession of weapons by persons under 16 and were also released to their parents and will eventually appear in court.
Angela Ohlbaum has an eighth-grade child at the middle school and says parents are worried about the situation.
“I am very concerned, but we do have a good security,” Ohlbaum says. “I just think the lack is at home and I think that parents are not accepting responsibility for children that are bringing knives to school.”
Ohlbaum applauded security for being able to confiscate the illegal items before anything bad happened.
Riverhead parent Philnesia Miller says she would consider suggesting that the school gets metal detectors so they can be more proactive. She says the incidents have her questioning whether she wants her children to continue going to the district.
“Do we want to stay in the school district, or do we want to home school,” Miller says. “We’ve really been considering such because it’s just too much that’s been happening.”
Co-founder of the Heart of Riverhead Civic Group Cindy Clifford says the school did what they had to do and followed protocol.
"I'm just concerned about the community getting too up in arms about something without having finer details of it," Clifford says.
The Riverhead Central School District provided a statement, saying they are working with police in their investigation and at no point were any students or staff in harms way.
There will be a Riverhead School Board meeting Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. where parents can address their concerns about the recent incidents.


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