COVINGTON - Two Alcovy High School students have been arrested and charged in connection with the explosion caused by a chemical reaction in the commons area of the school Tuesday morning.
A 16-year-old juvenile, whose name is being withheld due to his age, has been charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats and acts, possession of weapons in a school safety zone and disruption of a public school.
Kavarrio Maurice Leslie, 17, of 698 Freeman Drive has been charged with criminal attempt to commit a terroristic act and possession of weapons in a school safety zone.
NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said the arrests were based on statements and evidence gathered at the scene by the school resource deputies and CID investigators.
"I'm glad we were able to effect arrests in this case and want students to understand that pranks like this can get them into serious trouble," Mitchell said.
The incident began about 8:30 a.m. when a device Mitchell described as "a water bottle with some sort of liquid in it" apparently exploded, sending students scurrying for cover. Late Tuesday afternoon, Mitchell confirmed that investigators believed the bottle to have contained some sort of cleaning solution that caused a chemical reaction to occur, causing the loud noise.
Mitchell said the incident was confined to a small area and the regular school schedule was carried on without disruption. Investigators searched the school but did not find any other devices.
"I hope that all students will think about the consequences of their action," said Newton County School Board Chair C.C. Bates via e-mail. "When executed, what may have seemed like a harmless prank in the planning stages can have damaging effects. I know this is an exciting time and as graduation approaches, students may be looking for one last hoorah, and so I caution them to think clearly and use sound judgment."