SCRANTON — Police in Lackawanna County say over the past two weeks, there have been at least ten bomb threats made at schools in the county.
Two students from two of those schools now face felony charges for making the false threats.
Over the past two days, three people have been through the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton and charged in connection with making bomb threats.
Those three people are a 12-year-old, a 13-year-old, and a 47-year-old Scranton city employee.
Law enforcement officials say they’re cracking down on everyone who makes these threats, especially students.
About two weeks ago, an evacuation of Valley View Middle and High schools had a snowball effect all over Lackawanna County.
Police say after the bomb threat at Valley View led to an early dismissal for students, there have been at least ten similar threats, written on bathroom stalls or notebooks, at other schools in the county.
“Periodically, you get an occasional threat called in but not like this at the schools where they’re writing on bathroom walls or walls of the building. I haven’t seen anything like this in all the years I’ve been here,” said Lackawanna County D.A. Andy Jarbola.
Jarbola says when the school bomb threats started getting out of hand, his office decided to charge any student who’s caught to the full extent of the law.
A tough lesson a 12-year-old just learned. He’s been arrested for writing a threat on a bathroom stall door at Riverside East Elementary School in Moosic.
And Scranton Police arrested a 13-year-old student from South Scranton Intermediate for writing a note saying that the school would “blow up.”
Both of those students, from Riverside East Elementary and South Scranton Intermediate were charged with a felony, making terroristic threats. That’s two arrests out of at least ten bomb threats that are all being investigated.
Police actually made three arrests this week related to bomb threats, but the third wasn’t at a school and was allegedly committed by a 47-year-old man, an employee at Scranton’s Department of Public Works.
Police say he called in the threat as a joke.
Cops say late last week, Mark Jakes told his dispatcher there was a bomb at the D.P.W. building. He told police he was only joking but he was charged with reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, and suspended without pay from his job at the D.P.W.
The district attorney says it really isn’t a joke for those two students though they face felony charges.
“Very serious consequences if you’re talking about having a felony on your record, whether it’s applications for jobs in the future or even schools.”
Police say at least one of those students facing charges was placed on house arrest and the district attorney says both of them will be asked to pay back their local police departments and schools for the money it cost them to evacuate and search the school buildings. That could total in the thousands of dollars.