PALM COAST, Fla. (AP) — An 18-year-old high school student in Florida has been arrested after recording a song in which he threatened to kill a school administrator following a suspension, sheriff’s officials said.
Joseph Washington was arrested Tuesday on felony charges of making written threats to kill, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.
A judge released the teen from jail Wednesday and his trial is pending, records show.
Washington told investigators he wrote and recorded the song in retaliation for being suspended from Matanzas High School in Palm Coast for a dress code violation and for using offensive language, sheriff’s officials said.
In the song, which was circulated online, Washington can be heard saying he will “gladly do it again,” the sheriff’s office said.
When sheriff’s deputies talked to him, Washington admitted writing and recording the song. He told them “he knew the consequences of his actions could be that he was arrested and charged with a criminal offense,” the sheriff’s statement said.
Washington told investigators he did not intend to carry out any of the threats, and that it was all just a “fantasy,” the statement said. Washington was then arrested.
“To anyone that still thinks saying ‘I was just kidding around or it’s a fantasy’ is going to get them out of being arrested when they threaten someone’s life – let this be a wake-up call,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy and we do not take threats like these lightly, especially when it comes to our schools,” Staley said. “If you make threatening statements online, in writing and or even if veiled in songs, you will be arrested.”
A lawyer for Washington was not listed on jail records.