NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As kids head back to school, New Middletown police say it’s a good time to remind your child that they can come to you or any trusted adult if they see or hear something that makes them uncomfortable.
Local law enforcement officials, along with members of the FBI, credit a vigilant member of our community for reporting James Reardon’s post on social media. The 20-year-old is accused of threatening the Jewish Community Center in Liberty.
New Middletown Police Chief Vince D’Egidio said it’s the perfect example of seeing something and saying something.
Had one person not come forward to report the video they saw on social media, police would’ve never known about it.
“It could have resulted in a tragedy,” D’Egidio said.
Once police found out about Reardon’s threatening posts against the Jewish Community Center late Friday afternoon, D’Egidio said officials worked quickly.
“It was brought to the officers’ attention about 4:30, we were in service by 8 o’clock investigating it and by 11 o’clock that night, we had a subject in custody.”
He said it’s a reminder of how important it is to call police if you see something threatening or potentially dangerous posted on any social media site.
“Just please, please report it. It is so important that this information gets into the hands of law enforcement. You know what? You’re not offending somebody, you’re probably saving a life. Potentially saving a lot of lives, so we can’t stress that enough.”
With school starting up again across the Valley, local law enforcement is also encouraging students to remain vigilant on these popular social networking sites and while they’re out and about.
If you do see or hear something, say something.
“Contact a responsible adult, an adult at the school, school resource officer, contact a local law enforcement officer or the FBI but don’t sit on that,” D’Egidio said. “As you sit on that, things are developing in a person’s mind.”
Oftentimes, those tips can remain anonymous.
“If you see something, say something,” D’Egidio said. “Don’t be embarrassed, don’t be shy. Even if it’s something that doesn’t come to fruition or is shown that after we investigate it, it doesn’t hold up or nothing’s going to happen, at least it’s been investigated and we have that information available.”
He said it’s always better to be safe than sorry.