Cops: Penn Township man with overdue book fees threatened to shoot up library
A Penn Township man remained in jail this week after police said he threatened to “shoot up” a library because unpaid fines for an overdue book prevented him from using any computers in the county’s library system.
Greensburg police charged Boyd N. Klingensmith, 65, with making terroristic threats and possessing a firearm without a license after the April 18 incident at Greensburg Hempfield Area Library on South Pennsylvania Avenue.
Library officials called police after Klingensmith made the threat after being informed his privileges for internet access within the Westmoreland Library Network were suspended until he paid the overdue fine at the Penn Library in Harrison City, Patrolman Justin Scalzo reported in court documents.
Multiple library staffers reported hearing Klingensmith say, “I hate Penn Library. I’ll just have to go shoot them,” Scalzo reported.
“If I just go shoot them, that will take care of the fine,” library staffers also quoted Klingensmith as saying during the conversation.
Scalzo reported he stopped Klingensmith as he exited the library.
“Klingensmith admitted to me that he made the statements regarding shooting up the Penn Library. However, he said he was only joking,” Scalzo wrote.
Scalzo and Detective Sgt. John Swank searched Klingensmith but found no weapons. However, Klingensmith said he did carry a weapon in his car that was parked in a nearby church parking lot, Scalzo reported.
Police discovered a .40-caliber Taurus handgun in a garbage bag behind the front seat. Scalzo reported the gun was not loaded and that Klingensmith admitted not having a permit to possess the firearm.
Klingensmith was arraigned before acting District Judge Joseph DeMarchis in Jeannette and ordered held in the Westmoreland County Prison after failing to post $10,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled May 2.
Reports did not indicate how much of a fine Klingensmith owed.
Cesare Muccari, executive director of the Westmoreland Library Network, credited staff members and police for their quick actions responding to the threat. Muccari served as director of the Greensburg library for 27 years.
“Unfortunately, in this day and age, you have to be very careful when such threats like that occur. They absolutely responded appropriately,” Muccari said. “We’re a public library. And I can tell you, we had 600 people a day coming in and out of that library (in Greensburg), so you have to be very careful.”
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .