Richard F. Owen III

The Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man on charges of threatening to take a gun to the Atlantic County Special Services School last month.

Richard F. Owen III, 30, was arrested Friday for allegedly making terroristic threats. The Sheriff’s Office said Owen allegedly sent text messages to his estranged wife Dec. 21 stating he had a handgun and “was going for” his child, who is a student at the school in Mays Landing.

The school was placed on lockdown and several police departments arrived on scene, but Owen did not show up at the school, police said.

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Sheriff Frank Balles said Owen later said he was just kidding and did not intend to shoot anyone. In his text messages, Owen told his estranged wife she “would never have to worry about him or his son again” and that he “would make sure to make the news,” Balles said.

Authorities searched for a week before Detective Douglas Herbert and several other members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service’s New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force tracked him down in Lawrenceville, Mercer County.

He was being held at the Atlantic County jail on $100,000 cash bail.

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