Flagstaff Police Department, FUSD make announcement on school safety

| July 20, 2015


The Flagstaff Police Department and the Flagstaff Unified School District announced late Tuesday that an arrest has been made regarding a series of threatening telephone calls last spring to a number of schools within the Flagstaff Unified School District.

The department announced that an investigation, in partnership with FUSD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, led to the arrest of Viktor Lisnyak of Staten Island, New York for allegedly making a series of calls that began in March at Marshall Elementary, followed by calls to Knoles Elementary and Mount Elden Middle School.

Flagstaff Detective Adrian Barreras and Detective Casey Rucker flew to New York, accompanied by a FBI special agent, and arrested Lisnyak, who reportedly admitted to law enforcement officials that he made the threatening calls to Flagstaff schools.

“This investigation has been a top priority for the Flagstaff Police Department since we received the first threat,” the department reported in a media release. “All of these calls had certain details in common, and every threat was taken seriously. Flagstaff Unified School District employees, as well as the Flagstaff Police Department, remained vigilant in their emergency lockdown responses.”

The department and district officials met with concerned parents on April 21 at Flagstaff High School to answer questions and assure the community that it was continuing the investigation.

Flagstaff Police Department Chief Kevin Treadway presents information at the community meeting on school safety at Flagstaff High School on April 21, 2015. Photo by Frank X. Moraga

Flagstaff Police Department Chief Kevin Treadway presents information at the community meeting on school safety at Flagstaff High School on April 21, 2015. Photo by Frank X. Moraga

“We heard our community’s concerns in regards to these shameful threats against our children and in April, the Flagstaff Police Department vowed to do our best to identify and apprehend the individual responsible,” Flagstaff Police Chief Kevin Treadway stated in a media release. “Our detectives have been working tirelessly since, and their tenacity paid off. We appreciate the close working relationship we have with the FBI and FUSD, relationships that were strengthened through this experience. I am happy our children, teachers and parents can be relieved of this burden as school begins this fall semester.”

FUSD officials praised the police department for its tireless efforts.

“On behalf of the entire FUSD community including our governing board, parents, students, and all of our dedicated staff members, I want to thank the FPD for their great tenacity and skill in the resolution of these crimes,” FUSD Superintendent Barbara Hickman stated in a media release. “I am deeply appreciative of the way that the Flagstaff Police Department focused their efforts on catching this individual and their willingness to pursue this to the lengths that they did to get it solved.

“While I believe that the FUSD and FPD responded to the weeks of menacing phone calls with seriousness and professionalism, it was a very wearing and uncertain time for everyone and it is a relief to have that situation settled so that we can look forward to the start of school without lingering fears regarding those threats,” she said. “We are fortunate to live in a town with such a committed and engaged police department. The partnership between FUSD and the FPD is very strong and this is a great example of how we can work together to make our school community safer for everyone. ”

Lisnyak is scheduled to appear in Arizona federal court on July 29, the department reported.

Click here for the full media release from the Flagstaff Police Department

For more information, see Arizona Daily Sun: New York ‘gamer’ arrested in connection with FUSD threats

During the April 21 community safety event, the district presented the handout “Talking Points for Students” to help parents, teachers and students open the conversation about the lockdowns this past spring.

For more information on the community safety event, visit FUSD provides information at community meeting on school safety.

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Category: Education

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