Charleroi Area student ducks school weapons charge
Charges were refiled Wednesday against a Charleroi Area High School senior once accused of bringing a homemade pipe bomb onto school property and building more devices at his home.
Prosecutors withdrew charges related to the school property allegations filed by Charleroi Area School District police against Ryan Jacob Pfrogner, 18, of 136 River Ave., Speers.
There is no evidence Pfrogner possessed the device on school property – other than his admission to school administrators that he had a pipe bomb in his vehicle.
Pfrogner allegedly told Charleroi Regional Police Officer Michael Kresich, who serves as Charleroi Area school police chief, that he had live pipe bombs in his residence.
According to the criminal complaint, two live pipe bombs made of PVC pipe, gun powder and fuses allegedly were found in Pfrogner's bedroom and removed by the Allegheny County Police Department Bomb Squad. Additional bomb-making materials were found, officials said.
Pfrogner now is charged with causing or risking a catastrophe, possessing a prohibited offensive weapon, and recklessly endangering another person.
“The fact is that we needed more than just his admission,” Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone said. “It's a technical reason called corpus delecti. We never had proof that anyone saw the device at the school other than what he admitted.”
According to the complaint Kresich filed Wednesday, Pfrogner admitted to high school Principal Patricia Mason and Superintendent Dr. Brad Ferko that he had a live pipe bomb in his car, a black 2000 Ford Mustang, on Nov. 16 in the student parking area during school hours.
Pfrogner said the bomb was detonated after school hours somewhere in Speers.
“We have evidence that supports the charges that were filed,” Vittone said.
When the original charges were filed, Ferko said Pfrogner, “was cooperative, but he did a stupid, stupid thing. If you bring a weapon onto school grounds, that's it.”
Act 26 of 1995 and Act 30 of 1997 of the state Safe Schools Act prohibits possession of weapons and requires expulsion for “any student who is determined to have brought onto or is in possession of a weapon on any school property, any school-sponsored activity or any public conveyance providing transportation to a school or school-sponsored activity.”
Mike Lucas, Charleroi Area School District solicitor, said the district is not permitted to comment on Pfrogner's status and whether he has been expelled.
Ferko could not be reached for comment.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2667.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Floodwater, snow, ice cause problems across Mon Valley
- Probation check leads to drug, cash seizure in Monessen
- N. Charleroi mom on probation charged again
- Leapin’ lizards! Charleroi high school to stage ‘Annie’
- PennDOT boss tells lawmaker Donora-Webster span doomed
- Former Atlas building in downtown Charleroi up for sale
- Belle Vernon Area High School Drama Club to stage ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’
- Drug charges mount for Charleroi man after chase
- Weather, OT take toll on Rostraver road budget
- Rostraver man faces trial in child sex case
- CCAC’s Washington Center plans first job fair