Sewanhaka student charged for making a terroristic threat

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The Nassau County Police Department’s 3rd Squad arrested a Franklin Square student for making a terrorist threat at the Sewanhaka High School on March 6. Detectives said Floral Park police arrived at the high school after receiving a call from the assistant principal about Joseph Khanat, 17. Police found that Khanat had posted a picture of himself on the Internet, posing with a gun and using threatening language toward the school. Another picture showed the school on fire.

Sewanhaka High School Principal Christopher Salinas messaged parents and guardians after the incident. In the message, Salinas said the school found the threat on social media, which was directed towards an administrator.

“The threat made was isolated to the individuals involved and no other students, faculty or staff were impacted by the threat,” Salinas said. “During the investigation the student in question was compliant and responsible.”

This incident was another in a recent series of threats directed at Nassau County schools following the school shooting on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Fla., that killed 15 students and two teachers. NCPD Commissioner Patrick Ryder released a statement on March 5 to address the growing threats in the county. In his statement, Ryder reassured residents that all school threats would be taken seriously by police and investigated to find if they are credible or not.

Khanat was charged with making a terroristic threat, a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison, according to Ryder. Khanat was arraigned at the in Hempstead’s 1st District Court on March 7.