PLANO — Shea Shawhan, a 17-year-old Plano West Senior High School Student, hasn't just been bullied. She's been tormented.
Her mother, Keri Riddell, shared a handful of the violent and graphic text messages Shea received over a period of months:
- "I want to rape her then kill her. That will finally make sure she goes away for good."
- "Why are u still here. Clearly no one wants you."
- "Guys don't want to waste their time with u."
"That's beyond bullying," Riddell said.
Shea has disabilities. Her speech and her thoughts are slow.
For months, someone used fake phone numbers obtained through a website to send mean and threatening text messages to Shea's cell phone.
The texts seemed unstoppable and untraceable until a break came this week.
Plano police obtained a search warrant, and within a home in Plano they obtained enough evidence to arrest a juvenile and charge that suspect with harassment.
Police would not identify the age or gender of the suspect, but Riddell said it is a girl she and her daughter know.
"When the detectives told me who it was, I literally threw up," Riddell said. "I replayed all those messages in my mind, thinking that I could picture this person doing it and me begging them to stop and they wouldn't stop... and that scares me."
Police said the investigation was made difficult by the anonymous nature of the texts, but that detectives were determined to find who was responsible.
And they did.
"So many children, you never know how this is going to affect them, so we have to take it serious," said Plano police spokesman Officer David Tilley. "We don't know where it's going to wind up leading to."
He explained that Plano ISD handles most cases of bullying within the district, but when this went further and became threatening, it turned into a criminal case.
The arrest came at 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, and while it's a relief, Riddell said it brings no joy.
She's created an "I'm with Shea" Facebook page, which has more than 82,000 "likes." She's printed up bright green T-shirts, and she's hoping students and fans will pack the stands wearing green at Clark Stadium Friday night when Plano West plays Plano Senior High.
All the money she raises from T-shirt sales will go to help bullied teens, she said.
"We can't go anywhere without someone saying, 'There's Shea! There's Shea! There's Shea!' She's famous, and she deserves to be," Riddell said. "She's a role model, teaching girls and boys to be kind. She is genuine kindness. And you can't say that about a lot of teenage girls."