SCITUATE – A Scituate High School student and his mom have been arrested in connection with a suspicious package delivered to the town’s middle and high school that resulted in a full evacuation, early dismissal, and detonation by the bomb squad on April 13.
Ryan Hunt, 18, was charged with conspiracy and larceny on April 21 after he allegedly stole Assistant Principal David Sweet’s name plaque.
His mother, Kathleen, was implicated, police say, when she tried to return it as an anonymous package sent to the school.
Mrs. Hunt is being charged with conspiracy and was released from police with an agreement to appear for a May 17 court date.
Ryan Hunt was released on a $250 bail, paid by his mother, and is scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference on May 10.
What started as a mother’s inclination to protect her child turned into the evacuation of hundreds of students, closed roads, and a bomb squad called in from Exeter, officials are saying now.
“All those resources were pulled,” Chief Donald Delaere said in an interview with The Valley Breeze & Observer.
Delaere’s department was able to track down the source of the package by working closely with the United States Postal Service, which provided a surveillance photo of the individual who originally mailed the package. From that photograph, the officers were able to identify Kathleen Hunt.
Delaere added that the charges were necessary to prevent the likelihood of copycats or incidences where kids call in a threat to avoid class.
“We did what we had to do with charging,” Delaere said.
Ryan Hunt is being represented by attorney Robert B. Jacquard and has entered a “not guilty” plea for the alleged offense.
Jacquard declined to comment on the charges against Hunt.
This litigation will not be a first for Hunt, who was charged with possession of a firearm and simple assault in December 2016. He is currently out on bond for that case.
He also faced school disciplinary consequences for that incident, the extent of which could not be disclosed under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
Previously, news outlets reported that Hunt had a firearm during the December infraction, a claim which both Filippelli and Delaere say is inaccurate.
Hunt was specifically charged under statue 11-47-60 which states: “No person shall have in his or her possession any firearm or other weapons on school grounds.”
He had brought a pocket knife of more than three inches – not a firearm – to school and engaged in a physical altercation with another student, according to Supt. Lawrence Filippelli.
The knife was not used in the incident but it was on Hunt’s person, according to Chief Delaere.
Hunt is expected to appear for a pre-arraignment conference in June for that case.
Filippelli could not confirm whether Hunt, a senior, would still be allowed to graduate with his class on June 8.