SKOKIE, Ill. (STMW) — A 19-year-old Northbrook man accused of threatening on Facebook to blow up two north suburban schools last year avoided jail time after pleading guilty to a lesser charge on Thursday.
Ryan Ricco, of 3514 Whisperwoods Ct., pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to one year court supervision. Judge Larry Axelrood also ordered Ricco continue to undergo counseling, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.
Ricco was initially charged with two felony counts of making false terrorist threats and felony disorderly conduct after the Dec. 8, 2010 incident, Glenview police said.
Ricco made the threat to another student while the two were chatting on Facebook, according to police. She reported Ricco threatened to bomb Glenbrook North High, where he is a student, or go to Glenbrook South High with a bomb strapped to him.
The other student informed her mother, who called Glenview police.
Police notified administrators “that a message threatening school safety at Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South had been reported,” Karen Geddeis, District 225 director of public relations, reported.
Officers and staff did a sweep of both schools to make sure there were no devices and to search for Ricco.
“You’ve got to treat it like it was real,” Cmdr. Jeff Ader said at the time. Police “took it seriously and picked him up within three hours of the threat.”
District 225 alerted key staff and the Off-Campus program, which Ricco attends. Ader said when Ricco walked into the Off-Campus office at 1247 Waukegan Rd. in Glenview around 11 a.m. the same day and staff notified police and officers took him into custody.
Police recovered fireworks taped together from Ricco’s residence, and he was charged with felony disorderly conduct and illegal possession of fireworks.
“It was determined by police that the school environments at both schools were safe,” Geddeis stated at the time. “At no time were students or staff in danger.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)