CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. – Students, staff and parents have been on edge after a string of threats against schools in Coatesville the past couple weeks. Officials say a 17-year-old student responsible for at least one of those threats is now in custody.
Nearly 1,500 students and over 100 staff members were evacuated to the football stadium Monday after a threat at Coatesville Area Senior High School and the Intermediate High School.
An anonymous report stating, “Someone has a boom bag full of glass bottles. The glass bottles are full of gas and alcohol, and a lot of tissue. He said he’s gonna light it off at 12” was posted to the Safe2SaySomething website.
After about an hour, officials say a series of fights broke out between different groups of students, resulting in a response from 37 police departments.
No accelerant or weapons were discovered in either school, however, classes were canceled Tuesday to allow for an FBI investigation.
Investigators were able to track the IP address of the threat to the guest Wi-Fi at the Technical College High School in Downingtown, which was accessed by the suspected student.
Officials say the student, a senior at CASH, was also seen at the school on surveillance footage at the time the threat was made.
He has been arrested and charged with terroristic threats, threats to use weapons of mass destruction, criminal use of a communication facility and false reports.
The bomb threat was just one of 14 threats made against Coatesville Area High School over a three-week period, causing lockdowns, evacuations and the cancelation of class and school activities.
“CASH students, teachers, staff, and parents have been anxious and on high alert for three weeks because of persistent and scary threats of violence that have disrupted school and the lives of everyone associated with CASH,” said District Attorney Deb Ryan. “Threats of violence against schools – especially in this day and age – will never be tolerated.”