Saratoga County

Saratoga Springs man indicted in threat against schoolchildren

A Saratoga Springs man accused of threatening schoolchildren and President Obama was indicted Thursd

A Saratoga Springs man accused of threatening schoolchildren and President Obama was indicted Thursday by a Saratoga County grand jury.

Brent Dickinson, 33, of 2601 Maple Ave., faces a felony charge of making a terroristic threat, District Attorney James A. Murphy III said. The charge is a Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in state prison.

Murphy said the grand jury heard only that the allegations related to threats against young children at an unspecified city school.

Separately, Dickinson is under federal investigation for having emailed a threat against Obama to the White House.

Murphy didn’t release specific details of the alleged threats involving the school, but he said they involved threats to torture and kill elementary-age children.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albany is investigating the alleged threats against the president. It did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.

Dickinson, who is unemployed and was receiving public assistance, will be arraigned before Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano within the next week, Murphy said. He is currently undergoing a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, which will determine how the criminal case proceeds.

“The results of the fitness-to-proceed exam will be sent to County Court to determine if he is capable of participating in his own defense and understands the nature of the charges against him,” Murphy said.

He said the alleged threats need to be taken seriously, regardless of any mental issues Dickinson may have.

“Anytime there is a threat against a school or schoolchildren, or a vulnerable population, we take it very seriously,” Murphy said. “The police acted quickly in locating Mr. Dickinson and fortunately, no one was ultimately in danger due to their good work.”

Dickinson was arrested March 2 after sending the White House website a second threatening email within two weeks.

The first threat, against the president, was allegedly made from a public computer on the Skidmore College campus on Feb. 17, police said.

The subsequent threat against children at an unspecified school was made from a public computer at the Saratoga Springs Public Library on March 2. The Secret Service and city police were able to track it to Dickinson and arrest him within a half hour.

Dickinson is being held in custody in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or a $100,000 bond set in Saratoga Springs City Court.

Dickinson has been arrested in Saratoga Springs at least four times over the last decade, Gazette archives indicate, on charges include forgery, identity theft and aggravated harassment.

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