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Student accused of terror threats out on bail

Ryan Bernhardt, 17, of Massapequa, pleaded not guilty

Ryan Bernhardt, 17, of Massapequa, pleaded not guilty through his lawyer when he was arraigned on a charge of making a terrorist threat, a felony, in First District Court in Hempstead. (Sept. 5, 2012) Credit: NCPD

A Massapequa High School senior arrested this week after authorities said he made "terroristic threats" to bomb the school and kill people has been bailed out of jail and hired a prominent local lawyer.

Ryan Bernhardt of Park Lane in Massapequa posted a $30,000 bond Thursday, records show.

He has hired Brian Griffin, of Garden City, to defend him against a felony charge of making a terroristic threat.

Bernhardt left court after a brief appearance Friday without comment. He is due back in court Nov. 19.

Police said Bernhardt made the threatening statements in Town Bagel, a store next to the school, at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday.

He said to a classmate, "I hate everyone and I hope I get a chance to kill everyone," and, "I want to blow up the school," among other things, according to court papers.

Griffin said after court that Bernhardt took no steps to hurt anyone, and had no weapons.

"There were no steps taken, no overt acts, no weapons involved," he said. "What is then left is speech. We're in a dangerous place when we prosecute citizens for mere speech."

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