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Student who made Snapchat threats released to probation

Sewanhaka High School student Joseph K. Khanat, 17,

Sewanhaka High School student Joseph K. Khanat, 17, of Franklin Square, was charged with making a terroristic threat. Credit: NCPD

The Franklin Square student accused of threatening his high school on Snapchat was released to probation Wednesday and ordered to stay away from a school administrator he had menaced as part of the incident, officials said.

Joseph K. Khanat, 17, of Litchfield Avenue, was conditionally released after his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead on a charge of making a terrorist threat against Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park.

Judge Maxine Broderick also ordered Khanat to stay away from an assistant principal he had threatened as part of the incident, authorities said.

“The District does not tolerate threats of any type. All threats are fully investigated and taken very seriously,” Superintendent Ralph Ferrie said in a statement. “The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and we will continue to remain steadfast to our security protocols at all times.”

Khanat posted two photos on Snapchat, police said.

According to court records, Khanat was holding a black Uzi handgun in one of the photos, with a caption that alluded to his use of the weapon if he was called to the school office. The second photo depicted the high school in flames with a caption that read “if yk what i mean,” the records said.

About 50 to 60 people saw the post, the court records said.

When the assistant principal learned of the photos, he alerted the Floral Park Police Department. Khanat was arrested without incident, according to police and records.

Sewanhaka High School’s principal, Christopher Salinas, told parents and guardians about the incident in a robocall, school officials said.

Khanat’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

Khanat is the third teenager in Nassau County to be arrested and charged with making terroristic threats since the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which a former student is charged with killing 17 students and faculty members.

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, in a statement Monday, said the agency has received an influx of threats of violence against schools since the shootings in Parkland. All threats are investigated, the commissioner said, and “are taken seriously until they are deemed unfounded or noncredible.”

“If an individual is found to be in violation of the law for making a school threat, the individual will be charged with “Making a Terroristic Threat” which is an D Felony punishable up to seven years in prison,” Ryder said.

In a separate incident, Youssef Mohammed, 17, of South Farmingdale, was charged Friday with making a terror threat to Farmingdale High School, Nassau police said. Mohammed was arraigned on Saturday and bail was set at $15,000, records show.

The third recent incident occurred on Feb. 16, when Andrew Davies, 18, was recorded making threats against Valley Stream North High School while he participated in a fire drill, police said. Davies faces the same charge and was ordered held on $30,000 bond or $15,000 cash, records show.

Attorneys for Mohammed and Davies could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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