Arrest made for Facebook threat

Published 1:05 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chilton County Schools were placed on lockdown Wednesday following the arrest of a Clanton man who allegedly made a threatening comment on Facebook.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department arrested Donald Jason Giles, 21, of the Clanton area on charges of making terroristic threats via the social networking website.

According to the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office, earlier that evening, Giles posted a comment to a friend indicating he had had a bad day. The comment went on to say he was going to “hold up an elementary school” and start shooting “until they take us out.”

While the comment did not mention any specific individual or school, another Facebook post indicated that the threatened event would be compared to 9/11, Sheriff Kevin Davis said.

An anonymous caller notified the sheriff’s office at 8 p.m., and a patrol officer responded at 8:02. The department launched a full investigation at 11:15 p.m., notifying all local law enforcement agencies.

“During the course of the investigation, a plan was activated to have one uniformed officer at all schools (on Wednesday),” Davis said.

As a precautionary measure, Chilton County schools were placed under a system-wide lockdown throughout the day. Davis thanked all agencies and schools in the county for their cooperation.

“Our school resource officer has visited every school and talked with every principal and vice principal so everyone in administration would be informed,” he continued.

Davis said threatening comments are always taken seriously for the safety and security of everyone in the school system. He warned citizens to be careful when using social networking sites.

“Anything you publish on social media can be viewed by anyone. I am very pleased there are citizens of our county that will report this activity to us,” he said. “This is not something we take lightly.”

As of press time, Giles was being held in the Chilton County Jail under $15,000 bond.