A suspect has been arrested and charged in connection with threatening calls made this fall to Burton Elementary School in Huntington Woods and Hamilton Elementary School in Troy, law enforcement officials confirmed Friday.
Anthony Aaron Robinson, 47, of Detroit was arraigned Friday by video from the Oakland County Jail on a charge of false threats of a terrorist act – a 20-year felony – in the Huntington Woods case, said Lt. Bob Redmond of the Troy Police.
At his arraignment Thursday in Troy on the same charge, bond was set at $50,000 cash surety. Judge Dennis Drury scheduled a pre-exam conference Thursday in Troy for Robinson, a convicted sex offender.
On the morning of Sept. 30, a caller to Burton Elementary School said he was hiding in a girls restroom on the second floor, Huntington Woods Public Safety Director Steve Fairman said. Officers went to the school to investigate and found the report to be false, Fairman said.
A short while later, a similar call was placed to the Troy school, Redmond said.
"(The caller) wanted to speak to the principal, who wasn't available," Redmond said. The caller then told a teacher that he was armed and inside the building with a girl, warning "bad things" were going to happen when the school bell rang, Redmond said.
The quick-thinking teacher kept the caller on the line while police were contacted, Redmond said. The school was locked down and searched until it was determined the caller was not inside the building.
All the while, the teacher kept the caller talking, as responding officers listened in and advised the teacher how to respond, Redmond said. Police were able to use caller ID to pinpoint Robinson as a possible suspect, Redmond said, and units were dispatched to his home, where Robinson denied involvement.
What followed was a lengthy investigation, Redmond said, culminating in Robinson's arrest Thursday by the Troy Special Investigations Unit.
"The time the two departments – Huntington Woods and ours – spent on this was huge," Redmond said. "Some people say it's overkill, but I say it's underkill.
"Who's to say it's just a game? Or is it just a test? Is he acting out a fantasy?"
In the end, "There's nothing more important than protecting our children."
In Huntington Woods, Public Safety Director Fairman agreed: "We're very pleased we were able to get the warrants and get him arrested."