FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – As an advocate for keeping youth on the right track, it was with a stern warning to others listening that Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly announced the arrest of 13-year-old Daytona Beach resident Jaureion Smith on Friday night, as part of the investigation into the ongoing Flagler Schools swatting saga.

Placing a call Friday morning on what Smith called ‘a dare’, officials at Buddy Taylor Middle School were given a mere 12 minutes to address the situation after the threat to blow up the school at 11:00 a.m. was issued.

“The school staff immediately initiated a school lockdown as they have been trained and notified the sheriff’s office,” said Staly.

19 Sheriff’s deputies, an investigator from the Homeland Security section and Criminal Intelligence Unit responded along with the activation of a Real Time Crime analyst within the Flagler County Sheriff’s Operation’s Center.  Patrol deputies and school resource deputies searched the school. Palm Coast and Flagler County Fire Rescue also responded to the scene.

Identified through collaborative police work with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and the Daytona Beach Police Department, Smith was apprehended by Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Detective First Class Joseph O’Barr in the Derbyshire Road area of Daytona Beach with the phone used still in his possession, and was taken to the Volusia County Juvenile Assessment Center for processing.

The individual who issued the dare and is allegedly a student at Buddy Taylor Middle School, is urged to come forward according to Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.

“I have a message to the young man that dared Jaureion Smith. Turn yourself in,” said Staly. “Go to your parents, tell them what you did, turn yourself in, because we will find you next. Our investigation is still continuing.”

Charged with three third-degree felonies – false report of a bomb, tampering with evidence, and unlawful use of two-way communication device, if tried as an adult by the state attorney, Smith faces up to five years in state prison on each count, according to Staly.

In spite of the challenges faced this week with consecutive threats to schools across Flagler County, Staly’s disappointment in the decision of the youth to mimic the swat calls was conveyed through his messaging to parents.

“We believe the incident today was a copycat threat. We continue to use all our resources available at our disposal and continue to work with our state and federal partners to continue the investigation on the other calls.”

“Parents, I ask you once again to be the sheriff in your home. Be the sheriff to your kids. Talk to your kids about the seriousness of making threats. We take every threat seriously and when we come knocking on your door, your kid is going to jail,” said Staly.

“We don’t like making these arrests but we’re not going to tolerate these threats to our schools.”

“And because you were dared, it takes a bigger person to walk away from that dare than to do it,” he said.

Tips can be reported to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 386-313-4911. 

Featured Image: Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly addresses reporters and the community alongside Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore. (Photo: Flagler News Weekly/Danielle Anderson)