Police: Man Cited Boredom For Threatening ‘major Shooting’ At Crestwood School
RICE TWP. — A Mountain Top man called the parents of Rice Elementary School students threatening to blow up the school and warning a “major shooting” would happen the first day of class, according to police.
Michael John Pac Jr., 30, of 218 Van Ave., Nuangola, is charged with calling in a bomb threat and making terroristic threats over the calls, which he claimed were inspired by boredom.
According to the charges, a Wright Twp. family with two students attending Rice Elementary returned from vacation Aug. 18 and had three voice messages on their home phone line in which an unknown caller threatened violence at the school, 3700 Church Road.
The first message was garbled, but in the second the man said, “blow up the school, elementary school,” according to the complaint. In a third call, the man warned: “Rice Elementary. Major shooting will occur on the first day,” the charges said.
The series of calls, which came early the morning of Aug. 17, was from a phone number listed as “unknown” and the parents told police they did not recognize the voice.
Police obtained a search warrant and acquired phone records from Service Electric. Police traced the calls to Pac’s home, the complaint said.
Police said Crestwood School District Superintendent Joseph Gorham was notified about the threats and security was beefed up at the school for the first day of class Monday.
Later that afternoon, police brought Pac in for questioning and he admitted making “bad” phone calls after having a beer one night when he was bored and home alone, according to the complaint. Pac told police he went online and looked up a random phone number by searching for people in Mountain Top, and made blocked calls saying “bad things were gonna happen,” the complaint alleges.
Pac claimed he did not remember what exactly he said, but he acknowledged his comments were threatening, police said.
Police charged Pac with making bomb threats, terroristic threats, harassment and disorderly conduct. Magisterial District Judge Ferris Peter Webby Sr. arraigned him on the charges Monday night and ordered Pac jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with bail set at $75,000.
A preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 6.
This is the second incident of threats impacting the Rice Elementary community in five months.
In March, the school was put on “restrictive movement” after a teacher found a threatening message written in a bathroom during the school day. Authorities searched the school and found no imminent danger.
“Authorities arrested an individual that made alleged threats against the Rice community last week,” Gorham said in an email to parents Tuesday afternoon. “In the event of a known eminent (sic) threat, parents would be notified through various channels by the district. That was not the case in this current situation as it relates to today’s (Monday’s) arrest.”
The district also did not issue notifications to parents during the March incident until after the school day, first simply stating a delay in dismissal, then following up nearly an hour later with details of the incident.
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