Eastern York student charged for bomb threat, police say

Written by Brandie Kessler, The York Daily Record | Mar 10, 2018 10:37 AM

 (Photo: Jason Plotkin)

A police car is parked outside Canadochly Elementary School following a reported bomb threat at one of the schools in the Eastern York School District.

(Wrightsville) -- An 18-year-old male Eastern York High School student was taken into custody Friday night for allegedly sending a bomb threat to the district Friday morning, police said.

Wrightsville Borough Acting Police Chief Adam Schaum didn't name the male student Friday night, but confirmed he was a student and he was being charged with felony offenses.

"He was taken into custody this evening and he is currently in Central Booking," Schaum said around 8:30 p.m. The suspect is being charged with two felony counts of terroristic threats, Schaum said. The decision to charge the suspect with felonies came after consultation with the York County District Attorney's office, Schaum said.

The suspect allegedly sent an anonymous tip to the district's anonymous safe schools hotline that said, "There is a bomb in the school." That threat was received around 9:46 a.m., Schaum said.

Since the threat wasn't specific, all of the schools were evacuated and students were sent home early.

Several local police departments, including Hellam Township, Wrightsville and Lower Windsor, as well as trained K-9 units, school officials and other emergency responders were involved in the search. Police said they had identified a suspect Friday afternoon.

"When a bomb threat is first discovered, school administrators and police do not attempt to determine whether it is a hoax or the real thing," Supt. Darla Pianowski said in a statement. "Therefore, when a bomb threat is found, it is always taken seriously, and students are evacuated immediately."

Eastern York High School was searched twice to ensure safety ahead of Friday night's performance of "Cinderella," Pollock said. The musical went on as scheduled, according to the school district's website.

Schaum said his department, Hellam Township Police Department and Lower Windsor Township Police Department were all involved in the investigation, and each agency will make the safety of Eastern York School District students a priority.

"We are taking these (threats) very, very seriously," Schaum said. "We are taking the necessary precautions to make sure that these things do not keep reoccurring."

The threat made Friday is the most recent in a rash of threats throughout the county since 17 people were killed at a Florida school on Feb. 14.

Central York School District closed all its schools for several days last month after threats were made against the district on Feb. 19 and 20. Police launched a task force, beefed up their presence at schools across the district and then recommended the district close for several days while police investigated.

A 13-year-old girl was been charged with 15 felony counts of terroristic threats in connection with threats on Feb. 27, the day after students returned to class.

Two Eastern York High School students were charged after making threats during the week following the Florida school shooting, Lower Windsor Township Police said.

In one case, a threat involving a gun was reported through the Safe Schools website. 

In a second case, a student was overheard making threats of violence against the school, police said. Both students were charged.

This story is the result of a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record.

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