Student sues over wrongful arrest in daylight saving mix-up

GREENSBURG Pa.
A 15-year-old boy who spent 12 days in a juvenile detention
center on charges he phoned in a bomb threat to his school has sued the
principal and state trooper he says wrongfully accused him.

Cody Webb’s federal lawsuit contends authorities rushed to
judgment and wrongly concluded he phoned in the threat in March because the
school district had not reset the clock on a phone system to compensate for
daylight saving time.

Police charged Webb because they thought his cell phone
records showed he called Hempfield Area
Senior High School within a few
minutes of the threat. But a judge threw out the charges after Cody’s attorney
determined the school had not moved the timer forward an hour for daylight
saving time, meaning the cell phone call and the threat were made more than an
hour apart.

Webb contends he merely called the school early that morning
to see if there was a recorded message to alert students about a school delay.

Principal Kathy Charlton did not immediately return a
message left on her office voice mail Tuesday. The state attorney general’s
office, which represents state police in litigation, did not immediately return
a call for comment.

Webb’s parents, Vernon
and Linda, filed the civil rights suit in U.S. District Court late Friday. Cody
never returned to Hempfield Area and is being home-schooled, attorney David
Millstein said.

“The school has never formally acknowledged his
innocence. And it hauled him away in front of school buses in full view of all
the students,” Millstein said. “Many people at the school still think
this kid did it and that he’s out on a technicality.”

The Webbs are seeking unspecified damages, including the
costs of psychological counseling for their son.

Information from: Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com

 – Associated Press



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