Fake gun at local school

14-year-old boy arrested

Thermal, Calif. - A 14-year-old Coachella boy was arrested for allegedly brandishing a lighter that resembled a gun at a middle school in Thermal, a sergeant said today.   

Sheriff's deputies were dispatched shortly after 3 p.m. Friday to Toro Canyon Middle School where the boy was suspected by school staff of pointing what looked like a handgun at another student the day before, Riverside County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Castro said.

The boy was thought to still have the gun which prompted staffers to place the school on lock-down. Deputies searched for the teen-age suspect and spotted him walking from a nearby vacant home, Castro said.

Deputies stopped the boy, searched his backpack and found a silver lighter made to look like a small revolver.

The boy -- whose name was not released because of his age -- was arrested and booked into juvenile hall, Castro said.

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