Man accused of calling in threats to Jefferson Parish schools

LAFITTE (AP) — A 35-year-old man was arrested Wednesday and accused making threatening phone calls to at least two Jefferson Parish schools that had to be evacuated.

Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said Shane C. Kersey, of Lafitte, was booked into the parish jail on two counts of terrorizing and with being a fugitive from Plaquemines Parish on a simple burglary warrant.

Authorities evacuated Marrero Academy for Advanced Studies in Marrero and Fisher Middle-High School in Lafitte after each school received threats from a man who said he planned to burn down the schools and harm children. The students returned to class after authorities determined there was no danger.

Fortunato said investigators examined recordings left on answering systems at the schools and found the phone number they came from.

The investigators said Kersey answered the phone when they called and admitted to calling the schools. He told them where he was, and he was arrested a short time later.

During questioning, Kersey said he overheard students talking at a Lafitte school bus stop about a fight that was to occur later that day. The students also said they were bringing combustible materials, Fortunato said.

But instead of calling authorities, Kersey allegedly called and made the threats to the school.

When arrested, Kersey was wearing tin foil wrapped around his head underneath a baseball cap. He told detectives, the foil was there to prevent microwave signals from entering his head, Fortunato said.

Cmdr. Eric Becnel, a spokesman for the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office, said Kersey also would face at least one count of terrorizing for making a similar call to Bootheville-Venice Elementary about 6 a.m. Wednesday.

"Our detectives are in the process of obtaining a warrant for him on a charge of terrorizing," Becnel said.

Becnel said extra officers were routed to Bootheville-Venice after administrators heard the call about 8:30 a.m. and to the other schools in the parish, but none was evacuated.

Becnel said Kersey allegedly contacted another school in the parish but there was no "voice mail messages, so we're going through phone records."