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New York teen arrested for false report of a gunman

Police said they arrested an East Meadow teen who allegedly falsely reported the presence of an armed individual to them. The claim made by the 17-year-old was taken by police on April 6 at 7:41 p.m. Police were told that an individual carrying a rifle was walking along the trails in Massapequa's Brady Park. In response to the report of a gunman, the police ordered multiple units into action, including the Bureau of Special Operations, members of the Seventh Precinct and an air operations unit. After conducting a search for around 45 minutes, the police called it off.

Police identified the teen who lodged the report and arrested him at his house the following day. Officers found him in possession of a gravity knife, a type of blade that can be deployed by centrifugal force rather than application of pressure against a button. The teen is facing a third-degree charge of falsely reporting an incident and a fourth-degree charge of weapons possession.

The Nassau County District Attorney's office said that the teen's arraignment, originally scheduled for April 8, was postponed to April 15. The teen has been referred to the county's adolescent diversion program, a system intended to address cases brought against individuals ages 16 to 17 who are accused of non-violent crimes.

A false report in New Jersey is treated as a disorderly persons offense. A defense attorney will try to argue that the failure of a police search does not necessarily prove that the report was false. A lawyer may also wish to examine the chain of events leading up to the arrest. This might provide the basis for seeking to have the weapons charge dismissed by the court.

Source: LIHerald.com, "Teen arrested for falsely reporting gunman, cops say," David Weingrad, April 8, 2015

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