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teen was planning to blow up the school on the first day of class

Posted by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM
  • 26 Replies

TAMPA — An expelled Freedom High School student was arrested Tuesday night, after an informer told Tampa police the teen was planning to blow up the school on the first day of class.

Jared Cano, 17, is being held in secure detention. He appeared before Hillsborough Circuit Judge Tracy Sheehan Wednesday morning.

Police found a journal and materials to make pipe bombs, including a fuel source, shrapnel, plastic tubing and timing and fusing devices. Members of the agency's Regional Bomb Team determined the quantity of materials seized was "capable of taking multiple lives," police reported.

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said that Cano, in his journal, expressed a desire to cause more casualties than the 1999 Colorado massacre at Columbine High School.

"We were probably able to thwart potentially a catastrophic event the likes of which Tampa has not seen," Castor said. "And hopefully never will."

She said police believe Cano was acting alone.

The investigation began at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday, when police got word that Cano had threatened to plant a destructive device at the school in the north Hillsborough County suburb of Tampa Palms, targeting specific administrators and any students nearby.

At 6:30 p.m., the suspect's mother — who is listed as a math teacher at Riverview High School in south Hillsborough — consented to a search of their home.

In a hearing Wednesday, prosecutors said that Cano verbally had acknowledged his plan to discharge a bomb and cause mass casualties.

His journal contained schematic drawings of rooms inside the school and disturbing statements about his intent to kill, police said.

They also found a marijuana growing operation, with lights, plants, a digital scale, several baggies on the floor and a blue glass pipe.

Cano faces felony charges of possessing bomb-making materials, cultivating marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possessing of marijuana and threatening to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device.

According to prosecutors, Cano's prior juvenile charges include burglary, carrying a concealed weapon, altering serial numbers on a firearm and drug possession.

Tampa Police Major John Newman said that in 2007, Cano was arrested for breaking into a car. He got juvenile sanctions for that, and police would routinely knock on his door to check on him.

Cano is not currently under sanctions.

"I'm not sure his plot was realistic to carry out," Freedom principal Chris Farkas said at a news conference held at the school. He said that because Cano had been expelled, he should not have been on campus and any teacher could have spotted him and would have immediately notified administrators.

Cano was expelled from Freedom in March 2010, the principal said, for an incident contained in a Tampa police report. The report says Cano stole a firearm from a friend's grandfather, and when police showed up at Cano's house, the teen met them shirtless, wielding an aluminum baseball bat "in an aggressive manner."

Police said they repeatedly ordered Cano to drop the bat and ultimately grabbed his hand, pulled him off balance and pushed him into a wall. Finally, Cano complied and dropped the bat.

Police said he admitted to stealing the gun, but there were complications in the case. Cano was not adjudicated guilty.

On his Facebook page Tuesday morning, Cano wrote: "i jut did the dumbest thing ever!"

One of his favorite quotations: "Lessons not learned in blood are soon forgotten."

He writes extensively about marijuana and is pictured drinking out of a bottle of Olde English malt liquor and holding a large knife or machete. His MySpace page includes a photo of a hookah and a handful of cash.

Court records show that Cano's parents, Michelle and Alexander Cano, divorced in 1998 and the mother was granted custody of two children.

At the court hearing Wednesday, Cano held his face in his lap before stepping to the podium. He looked on the verge of tears. The judge asked him if his parents were coming. "I don't know," he said hoarsely. No parent showed up.

The judge asked the teen if he wanted to say anything.

"I don't know what to say," the teen said.

His public defender said, "He doesn't want to say anything right now."

The judge asked if he wanted to say anything without speaking about his charges, and the teen began to speak:

"The plan wasn't …"

But his public defender interrupted: "Don't say anything."

"I can talk," Cano said. "I'm allowed to say what I want."

The public defender asked the judge for a second to talk to him. She whispered in the teen's ear, and then she said, "He has no comment."

He will return to court on Sept. 5 for an arraignment.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354.

by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 5:01 PM
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Replies (1-10):
RowdyRoxyRainbw
by Gold Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:12 PM

bump

dustinsmom1
by JENN on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:18 PM

 I'm terrified for my son to go to public school. *shudders*

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:23 PM

There will always be people, of all ages, like this kid. 

I am thankful that some one had the forethought and the right frame of mind to tip off the police.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:24 PM


Quoting dustinsmom1:

 I'm terrified for my son to go to public school. *shudders*

People like this kid are every where.  Not just in the public schools. *sigh*

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you’ll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Arthur Gordon
DE1boy
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:28 PM
When people do stuff like this, why do u tell somebody?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
tanmans_mom
by Member on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:29 PM

This scares the heck out of me. I am glad the police are catching these people before it happens...

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:29 PM


Quoting DE1boy:

When people do stuff like this, why do u tell somebody?

What do you mean?

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you’ll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Arthur Gordon
LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Well, why wait until Christmas break?

Kaelansmom
by on Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Very sad and I am glad that this was difused before the worst could happen

tooptimistic
by Kelly on Aug. 17, 2011 at 9:07 PM

I was so hoping this wasn't true.. My son went to Liberty, the middle school right next door before we moved to North Carolina.. It was the nicest school in hillsborough county and everyone there was so great.  :(  I literally cried when I heard this earlier today.  It is such a great neighborhood, and is truely one of the nicest areas in Tampa. 

:(

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