ENGLEWOOD EAST, FL – Deputies arrived at an Englewood home on Steubenville Avenue, after a complaint was received regarding inappropriate text messages received by the caller’s twelve-year-old son. According to investigators, on September 19, 2020 deputies made contact with the father of a 12 year old boy named Ryan. The caller stated that his son had received several inappropriate text messages from someone who they believed was known to them.
Deputies reviewed the messages and made contact with the suspect who the complainant believed to be responsible. The next day on September 20, another call was received reporting additional inappropriate messages, this time in a group chat with Ryan, his father, and another member of the family.
Within the group message were elicit photos propositioning sex, stating to be once again from the same suspect they mentioned the previous day. These pornographic images and explicit text messages continued for several text messages to all parties. Further messages show threats to L.A. Ainger Middle School and Mooney Elementary School in Manatee County where the subject stated he was going to kill everyone in the schools.
When deputies took possession of Ryan’s phone to gather evidence, Ryan returned from his bedroom with his laptop to show the deputies an email that included more threats stating they were going to kill everyone at L.A. Ainger Middle School.
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Throughout the investigation, the Major Crimes Unit worked in conjunction with the School Resource Officers to properly handle and identify any threats. Deputies notified school administration in order for them to take appropriate actions to protect the faculty and students.
Deputies returned to the home of the original suspect. The suspect and parents had no knowledge of text messages, the phone numbers did not match the ones from Ryan’s phone, and they advised they have not spoken to the complainant family in over three years.
In addition to Ryan’s cellphone, deputies took possession of Ryan’s laptop, iPod Touch and Samsung Tablet. During the investigation, deputies found searches for the location of the above mentioned schools on the devices. Deputies confirmed there were no firearms in the complainants house that could be used to carry out the school threats.
As the investigation continued, deputies were notified that the pornographic messages started again. This time, the messages were targeted at specific school staff members and from different numbers from an application called TEXTNOW.
Computer Crimes completed the downloads of all Ryan’s electronics. After reviewing the electronic downloads, multiple pornographic images were found in his photo libraries, which were identical to the ones sent to the father, Ryan, and another member of the family. Subpoenas were completed for TEXTNOW for information to include the IP address. Due to the exigent circumstances, the information was received.
Deputies were able to determine that the IP address that the messages originated from was a match to the complainants household. The investigation uncovered that at the time the messages were received, the father was at work, leaving Ryan home alone. Ryan was arrested on 11 felony counts of send written threat to kill.
Threats made to schools are taken extremely serious and are investigated thoroughly to make certain the students of Charlotte County are safe. These threats have serious penalties.
Twelve year old Ryan was fully named in the report but his family name is being redacted by The Published Reporter editors due to his age.