Threats cause school evacuations

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Tucumcari Middle School was evacuated twice on Tuesday because of bomb threats.

At 11: 24 a.m. on Tuesday, a caller said faculty and students would be hurt, Tucumcari Assistant Superintendent Dennis Roch said. A second call at 11:40 a.m. said the harm would come from a bomb, Roch said.

“While we were on the scene, a second call was made to the middle school, but it was a bomb threat and the students and staff were evacuated,” Tucumcari Police Lt. Patti Lopez said.

State and local law officers checked the building for a device and to make sure it was safe before the children were allowed back in the building, Lopez said.

A third call and second bomb threat came at 3:45 p.m. and forced a second evacuation of the school. Police searched for a device and none was found, Lopez said.

In addition, “We checked out a few students but ruled them out as suspects,” Lopez said.

“Tucumcari police will be working with the school and the phone company in an effort to identify the person or persons responsible for these threats,” said Lopez. “It is a fourth-degree felony to be convicted of a bomb scare.”

“These types of calls are a disruption to the instructional education of the children,” Roch said. “It obviously caused the students, staff and parents to worry. We want to ensure the parents that the students’ safety was always first and that the school will pursue charges to the full extent of the law.”