18-year-old Charged with Felony After 3rd Bomb Threat

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by Morgan Fogarty
Bio | Email | Follow: @morganfogarty by Photographer Billy Carrier

CORNELIUS, N.C. - Hough High School in Cornelius was evacuated Monday for the third time in less than a week after reports of a suspicious package.  It turned out to be nothing, but law enforcement showed up in force: K9s, sirens, the whole nine yards.   

Students tell us they're now used to this drill.  Sarah Cozens says, "They told us to get up and get our belongings and evacuate to the stadium again."  Parents are not happy with the long lines they're forced to wait in, or the families of the accused kids.  Mom Kathleen Hansbrough says, "Parents, you need to get control of your kids, this is ridiculous, be a parent."

Cornelius Police arrested 18-year-old Bronco Villafranca just hours after the school was evacuated.  Villafranca - who, on social media sites, claims to be a member of the violent Mexican gang Sur 13 - led police to an unnamed juvenile who was arrested Monday as well.  And remember, last week, 16-year-old Riley Bowlin was arrested for calling in a bomb threat to the same school.  Their classmates are over the hoaxes, one saying, "It's just a big waste of time and money."

What makes a kid call in a bomb threat? We went to an expert in SouthPark to learn more about the psychological profile of these types of teens.  "Usually a kid who needs attention,"  says Southeast Psych's Dr. Trey Ishee.  But the attention they're after, Ishee says, is from their peers, not outsiders.  Ishee also says it's a warning sign that their parents need to step it up.  He say, "I'm worried about those kids. What's happening or not happening in that kid's life that he doesn't understand the seriousness of something like that?"

A friend of Villafranca's describes him as "funny," but rarely in class.  Parents at the school are organizing a meeting.  Several have told us they are unhappy with how the district has handled the evacuations.

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