Cambria bomb threat suspect arrested

EBENSBURG – Cambria Township police have arrested a student who allegedly scrawled a bomb threat discovered late Wednesday afternoon in a men’s bathroom at Central Cambria High School.

Superintendent Vincent DiLeo would not say what the message said specifically, only that it was a bomb threat and that “it wasn’t directed at any particular time, day” or person.

Police were notified, and school administration and staff assisted in conducting a building search. DiLeo said a bomb-detection dog also was brought in after school was dismissed and found nothing.

“There was a lapse of time until we were made aware of [the threat],” DiLeo said, but using school cameras, school officials were able to narrow down who could have written the message and told police.

DiLeo said school activities were able to be held Wednesday evening, and school began Thursday morning as usual.

Cambria Township officials said Police Chief Mark Westrick is handling the case against the suspect, whose name has not been released.

Westrick was unavailable for comment, but a department Facebook post sent about 2:30 p.m. Thursday stated that officers made an arrest.

“We would like to ensure the Students and Parents of the school district that there wasn’t really truly a danger in this incident,” it read, adding that such threats are “taken very seriously.”

It is unclear what, if any, charges will be filed against the student.

DiLeo said school officials are letting police handle charges and punishment. He wouldn’t rule out whether any additional consequences would befall the student through the school district, but said for now, “We’re really letting that up to the police. It’s not really up to us.”

Similar threats have been posted in a men’s bathroom before at Central Cambria. In late April, students alerted school officials to a message threatening a shooting at the high school a day before the senior prom.

Security remained tight through the end of the last school year, with state and local police, as well as the county sheriff’s K-9 unit, conducting patrols. Students weren’t allowed to carry backpacks to their classes, and athletes had to submit to a search of their equipment bags, which were stored in a secure area until the end of the day.

An off-duty Cambria Township police officer was hired to patrol hallways through the end of the school year, but DiLeo did not indicate that such precautions would be needed in this case.

Mirror Staff Writer Kelly Cernetich is at 946-7520.