UPDATE: Student contacts Chesterfield Schools about Craigslist ad | News
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A student has contacted the Chesterfield school division, admitting to a threatening post on Craigslist.
A viewer reached out to NBC12 after she said she spotted an ad on Craigslist Tuesday night that threatened the life of a Chesterfield school teacher. By the time we searched for it on Craigslist, it was no longer there.
The ad the viewer claims she saw names the teacher, describes what she wears and what she drives — details police asked us not to reveal to protect her identity.
What may have been a prank doesn't have police or the Chesterfield School District laughing. The headline: "Free English Teacher Manchester High School". But one line piqued the interest of police. It reads, "It should be easy to hide in the back seat and kidnap or kill her (whichever you prefer)."
Chesterfield Police Captain Russ Lescault said they couldn't find a criminal act but the ad implied a threat and they wanted to know who posted it.
The Craigslist user claimed they were browsing the Richmond section for free stuff when they saw the ad Tuesday night and alerted Craigslist.
The ad called the teacher an expletive and goes on a rant about her grading system, then stated, "No need to contact anyone. Just take her when you want her because we certainly don't."
"It's scary, dangerous and mean stuff," said NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin.
Benjamin said, for a threat to be a crime in Virginia, it must be directed to a person.
"Where you just have some ambiguous posting like this, often times you will not be prosecuted as the felony that it could be," said Benjamin.
Police would like to get the original posting.
A detective trained in computer evidence searches is handling the case.
"Even if this was just a prank, this person needs to understand they are going to be contacted by law enforcement," said Benjamin.
Chesterfield County Public Schools Spokesman, Shawn Smith, released a statement:
"The safety and security of all students and staff is our utmost concern. The police department will keep the school division informed as they investigate whether the post actually appeared (and was then removed) on Craigslist and determine who actually drafted the posting."
Police said they have spoken with the teacher who told them she's had no threats against her.
The ad was signed by "annoyed students."
A student later admitted to posting the ad Thursday evening.
"The school division was contacted this evening by a student who admitted to the off-campus posting to Craigslist. Our investigation will continue," said Shawn Smith.
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