Authorities: Teen says he was protecting brother when he threatened Wauconda students
A Wauconda High School student told police he was sticking up for his brother against bullies when he threatened over social media Tuesday to conduct a school shooting at the school's campus, authorities said Wednesday in court.
However, police said they received no complaints regarding any bullying of a student before the threats of violence posted by 18-year-old Karston Goodson.
"There has never been a complaint to the police department from the family about the student being bullied before Tuesday," Wauconda Police Chief David Wermes said. "We are not investigating a bullying complaint at this time."
Goodson, of Yates City, is charged with a felony count of disorderly conduct -- threatening a school building or person related to the post he placed on Snapchat, authorities said. If found guilty at trial, he could be sentenced to up to three years in prison. The charge is also probationable.
He is being held in Lake County jail on $50,000 bail with a court date of Friday, Nov. 17, for bond review.
Goodson moved to Yates City a few weeks ago but never notified Wauconda High School and so is still technically a student there, Wermes said. Goodson has not appeared in classes for 19 days, and after 20 days of nonappearance, the district is allowed to move forward with petitions of expulsion, Wermes said.
Goodson told authorities his younger brother was being bullied by students at Wauconda High School and he took to Snapchat to threaten students "in the heat of the moment," said Cynthia Vargas of the Lake County state's attorney's office.
The video was seen by about 40 students at the high school and was shown to a school official, who called police.
Police recovered a copy of Goodson's Snapchat threat before it was deleted from his account, Vargas said. Authorities say the video shows Goodson saying, "If you want to see a school shooter, I'll show you one."
Goodson was at his parents' house on the 700 block of Wood Creek Lane in Island Lake when he was arrested about 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wermes said.
Goodson admitted to posting the video to Snapchat, authorities said.
Vargas said Wauconda school officials are following up on the claims of bullying against the younger brother.
Wauconda District 118 Superintendent Daniel J. Coles said he is unable to comment about the specific situation involving Goodson, but he said "any and all allegations of bullying are taken seriously and investigated to their fullest."
"This situation is not an accurate portrayal of the community I serve," he added when reached by phone Wednesday. "This is a fantastic school, and we have fantastic students, staff members and parents. This current situation is not indicative or representative of our school community."
If Goodson posts bond, Judge James Simonian said, he can't possess any weapons, can't have contact with school or school officials, must remain on curfew, can't use social media, and can't consume any drugs or alcohol.