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Teen arrested after third bomb threat at Ford City schools

| Thursday, April 10, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A 16-year-old Ford City girl was charged on Wednesday with making three bomb threats in a week at Ford City Junior-Senior High School.

The girl, whose name was not released because of her age, was arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat at 11:30 a.m., said Ford City Police Sgt. John Atherton. Each threat since April 2 was found on written notes in the girls locker room.

Atherton said police, school administrators and security used surveillance footage to determine which students went into the locker room prior to receiving threats.

“When we sat down to talk to the girl, she admitted to making the threats,” Atherton said.

The girl faces two felony charges of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction, four felony counts of making terroristic threats and misdemeanor charges of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction, three counts of recklessly endangering another person and three counts of disorderly conduct.

The girl was placed in a detention center through the Armstrong County Department of Juvenile Probation.

During the first threat on April 2, the school was evacuated when a note saying a bomb would go off in two hours was found about 11 a.m. The school was evacuated again on Monday when school officials found another bomb threat. The school was not cleared after the threat on Wednesday.

The suspect is not believed to be connected to an April 2 bomb threat that forced evacuation of West Shamokin Junior-Senior High School. But Atherton said he hopes the arrest serves as a warning to those thinking of making bomb threats at any school.

“If copycat incidents occur, and there's a strong possibility it could happen, charges will be pressed against whoever is found responsible,” Atherton said. “There are severe penalties, which they will be forced to face.”

Ford City Principal Michael Cominos said he credits police and the school security officers with helping track down the student responsible for the threats.

“It's good that the case is closed, but it's unfortunate we have a student in this position,” Cominos said. “We want to protect all of our students, and in this case, we want to make sure she gets the help she needs.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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