Teen pleads innocent in Champion threat

Staff report


Leland R. Fritz III, 19, of South Leavitt Road, Leavittsburg, pleaded innocent Thursday in Warren Municipal Court to misdemeanor inducing panic after Champion police investigated an alleged threat against students at Champion High School.

The school principal contacted police after finding a post Tuesday evening on the website Facebook threatening to harm Champion students over the way they treated a female friend of Fritz’s who goes to school at Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Champion.

In her post, the girl complained about “the way people talk about her,” police said.

Fritz’s post said, “looks like I’m gonna go to jail, and the population of the school will decrease,” police said.

A Champion officer went to Fritz’s home at 10:07 p.m. Tuesday, and Fritz said he “did not mean anything by it. His friend has problems where she will pass out and some of the students were making fun of her,” a Champion police report says.

“Leland stated he was just trying to stick up for his friend, he had no intention of harming anyone.”

When asked by the officer, Fritz’s father said there were no weapons in the house. Fritz was told he should not return to school at TCTC until after he talks to school officials about the incident.

Champion police arrested Fritz and booked him into the Trumbull County jail Wednesday.

He was released after signing for a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, meaning he didn’t have to pay any money.

If convicted, Fritz could get up to six months in jail. He returns to court at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 14.

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