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Idlewild worker charged in 2 bomb threats at park

Paul Peirce
| Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

An Idlewild Park employee allegedly admitted to Westmoreland County authorities this week that he telephoned two bomb threats to the Ligonier Township amusement park Saturday and Sunday.

Robert A. Deemer, 21, of 164 15th St., New Florence, was arraigned Tuesday before Ligonier District Judge Denise Snyder Thiel on multiple charges of making terroristic threats, threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and recklessly endangering filed by township police. Deemer was committed to the county prison in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Although the amusement park's Halloween-themed Hallowboo events were not canceled either day, police Lt. Michael Matrunics said the threats delayed the park's opening both days and created massive traffic jams outside the park while the park was searched.

The first threat was made to the Cambria County 911 Emergency Management Center at 9:11 a.m. Saturday from a cellular telephone. The caller said a bomb had been placed on the perimeter of the park.

On Sunday morning, another call from the same cellular telephone was received at the Indiana County 911 Emergency Center, according to Matrunics.

In that call, "a male caller reported that the bomb threat yesterday was a joke. Today's the real thing, and it will go off between noon and 6 p.m.," Matrunics said.

The recording to Indiana on Sunday was played for park officials, who said they recognized Deemer's voice. Other park employees told authorities that Deemer appeared upset both days and complained to them that the park had remained opened in spite of the threats.

When police Chief Ron Dorazio and Matrunics questioned Deemer Sunday, he initially denied making the telephone calls, Matrunics said.

On Monday, Deemer again agreed to be interviewed at the police station in Latrobe, where officers asked him to submit to a voice-stress analysis.

"(Deemer) agreed to stay and talk with us. At this time, he ultimately admitted to making both phone calls because he did not want to go to work," Matrunics said in an affidavit of probable cause.

Deemer's preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 19.

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