South Jersey teen admits to SWAT prank during a real shooting
MIDLAND, Texas — A South Jersey teen admitted to making SWAT threats to a Texas university and threatening the life of a congressman.
Nicholas Kyle Martino, 17, of the Sewell section of Washington Township, is being prosecuted in federal court as an adult and could face up to five years in prison on each of the four counts of interstate threats to injure persons.
He admitted calling the Brewster County, Texas Sheriff's Office on Sept. 8, 2016, with two threats against Sul Ross State University and Big Bend Regional Medical Center in rural west Texas, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas.
Two days later, Martino posted threats on Twitter that threatened to kill former Texas congressman Pete Gallego and his family and to bomb SRU.
The threats against the university and the medical center were made on the day of an active shooter situation at nearby Alpine High School, where a student was shot and the gunman committed suicide.
SWAT threats are those made requiring a full scale response by police, fire and rescue squads that turn out to be a hoax, much to the delight of the person making the threat.
Many times they are made via a complex network of internet connections, making them difficult to track. New Jersey was plagued by a number of swatting threats in 2015.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com
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