Autistic SC teen who plans to be nuclear engineer detained after notes found at school

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) — Horry County Police will dismiss a charge against a 13-year-old student after an examination of two suspicious notebooks revealed they did not pose a threat.

Lt. Raul Denis, spokesman for the Horry County Police Department, says someone found the two notebooks containing disturbing material inside a classroom at Forestbrook Middle School. A school resource officer was alerted of the discovery last Wednesday.

A screen shot from Bloons Tower Defense. In the game, players attempt to prevent balloons (called bloons in-game) from reaching the end of a set course by placing towers along the course...
A screen shot from Bloons Tower Defense. In the game, players attempt to prevent balloons (called bloons in-game) from reaching the end of a set course by placing towers along the course…

Police say the journals contained information on “sensitive subjects like weapons and explosives science, maps, blue prints, jobs and stories pertaining to a video game called Balloon Tower Defense 5.” Denis said in a release there was also a reference to a school the student had once attended.

Detectives with the Horry County Police Department interviewed the 13-year-old student and his parents, and thoroughly examined the notebooks. The release says the child was detained under the disturbing schools law until the matter was investigated.

“The investigation and examination of the journals found that the child is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and is highly intelligent, and the journals, which the parents were aware of, are used as a therapeutic/comforting mechanism,” Denis said in a press release. “the child focuses on these subjects because he dreams of being a nuclear engineer.”

Denis said nothing found in the notebooks indicated a threat to the public nor any intent to build a weapon or device. The child’s mother told police he began the journals while in elementary school and understood that they were not allowed to leave the house.

Detectives did not find any evidence that the student had access to materials to attempt to build a device, the release said.

The 13-year-old student was later released to his parents and the charge of disturbing schools will be dismissed.

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