Lawrence bomb threat perpetrator jailed

Woodmere teen upset with Mesivta Ateres High School assistant principal


Updated 1:40 p.m. on April 17

Joel Levy, 16, of Woodmere was jailed on $50,000 bail for threatening to blow up the assistant principal's office at Mesivta Ateres Yaakov High School in Lawrence.

Levy is charged with making a terrorist threat, a misdemeanor, and aggravated harassment-second degree. He was in school at the time of his arrest.

The teen posted the threats on his Facebook page. Another student who saw the post alerted school officials, who then notified Nassau County police.

All of the school's more than 200 students, teachers and other staff evacuated the school building at 131 Washington Ave. at 9:45 a.m. Police emergency services and the K-9 unit searched the building and nothing was found. The surrounding streets were shutdown from 10 noon.

“In light of what happened [Monday]we handled this very seriously,” said Richard Miller, the school’s executive director Miller.

The bomb threat came less than a day after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three and injuring more than 200 people.

"The safety and well being of the students and faculty was of primary concern,’ said Rabbi Yossi Bennett, the school’s assistant principal.

Students and teachers walked to Beth Sholom Congregation at 390 Broadway in Lawrence, where classes were conducted for approximately two hours. “They were wonderful to us,” Miller said, referring to the synagogue.

Students, faculty and other school employees returned to the building near noon. "Mesivta Ateres Yaakov express their deepest thanks and gratitude to the Nassau County Police Department for their swift and thorough assistance in this matter and to Congregation Beth Sholom for their hospitality," Rabbi Bennett said.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which operates the Long Island Railroad, was notified due to the proximity of the school to the train tracks. MTA police responded, according to spokeswoman Marjorie Anders, and there was “no impact to service,” she said.