WEST CALDWELL, NJ — An 18-year-old West Caldwell resident was arrested and charged with a second-degree crime of creating a false public alarm on Saturday after the West Caldwell Police Department’s (WCPD) investigation revealed that Michael Schmitt sent a threatening message to James Caldwell High School students via a social media website, according to Chief of Police Gerard Paris.

Students and staff were attending a music event at the high school when the threat caused a lockdown and search of the high school for the suspect.  According to police, the school was cleared with the assistance of the Caldwell, North Caldwell, Essex Fells and Fairfield Police Departments. 

Police did not find the suspect nor other threats within the school. However, the WCPD was later able to locate the suspect and took him into custody without incident. Schmitt was brought to the Essex County Jail in Newark to await a hearing, according to Paris.

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“I would like to thank the public for their quick sharing of the threatening message and the assistance of the school administrators and staff,” said Paris. “The investigation is continuing and I am asking if anyone has information in this matter to please call the WCPD.”

Those with any additional information are urged to call the department at 973-226-4114.