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Police charge 20-year-old with threats to South Carroll High School

By Blair Ames, bames@tribune.com

4:30 PM EDT, April 1, 2014

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A 20-year-old man arrested for calling in multiple threats to a Caroll County High School last month allegedly watched police respond to the school from a vehicle nearby.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office has charged Timothy Edgar Baker, of Mt. Airy, with making the threats to South Carroll High School March 20.

Col. Phil Kasten, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said at a news conference Tuesday that Baker said in his calls that the school would "be a Columbine-like incident."

South Carroll High School was locked down for about 4 1/2 hours March 20 after multiple calls were made to the school and local police around the time of dismissal that threatened "shooting and chaos" at the Sykesville high school.

No one was injured and no weapons were found at the school.

"All of the threats that were made were found and determined to be a hoax," Kasten said.

According to court documents, phone calls to school administrators said a friend of the caller's was "mentally unstable" and was planning to shoot students.

The caller then said the suspect was going to "shoot every [expletive] kid that comes out of your school" and "call the police, they will get shot too," court documents state.

Kasten said that six calls to the school and police originated from the same phone number. He said Baker was arrested Monday after a search of his home.

Baker told police that he and acquaintances "thought it would be fun" to see the police response to South Carroll, according to Kasten.

Kasten would not say if the Sheriff's Office anticipates more arrests in the case, but said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges might be filed.

According to court documents, Baker sat in a nearby vehicle watching the police response to South Carroll.

Court documents also state that Baker knew of the phone calls from his phone, but said they were made by friends.

It was only after the calls had been made that Baker demanded his phone back, according to court documents.

After receiving an anonymous phone tip pointing them to Baker, police were able to connect him to the phone calls using information provided by bandwidth.com, a website offering Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services and Pinger, a texting and calling app for smartphones, court documents state.

Through Pinger, detectives were able to identify the IP address associated with the calls to South Carroll, leading them to Baker’s home in the 2600 block of Walston Road in Mt. Airy.

Baker is facing multiple charges and is being held at the county detention center without bail, Kasten said.

Baker is facing charges of making a false statement concerning a destructive device, telephone misuse, false statement to a law enforcement officer, school disturbance, arson/threat, CDS: possesion of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana less than 10 grams, reckless endangerment, and conspiracy.

State's Attorney Jerry Barnes said those arrested "will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of available law."

"This type of crime will absolutely not be tolerated in Carroll County," he said.

Barnes said his office will also seek full restitution in the case, which currently stands in excess of $10,000.

Officials said they expect that figure to rise as the case is further investigated.

A preliminary hearing for Baker has been scheduled for April 30, according to electronic court records.