Eric Schelmety
Eric Schelmety

The father of a Phineas Davis K-8 school student arrested at the school Thursday for allegedly making threats and damaging property was also arrested there the day before for threatening to murder and shoot people inside the school, according to charging documents.

When he returned Thursday, he threatened to kill every child in the school, police allege.

York City Police arrested Eric Schelmety at the 300 S. Ogontz St. school Wednesday for allegedly making the murder threat, and the father was told he was no longer allowed on school property, documents state.

But he ignored the warning and returned the next day, prompting a school lockdown and leading to initial mistaken reports that he had fired a gun inside the school, police said.

'I am crazy': As he was led away from the school in handcuffs Thursday by city officers, Schelmety called out, apparently to no one in particular. "I did it for my daughter."

He then told the crowd of gathering parents, "You thought I was crazy. I am crazy -- for my daughter."

Police from York City and Spring Garden Township rushed to the school about 4:10 p.m. for a report of shots fired.

No gun: The shots people thought they heard before they called 911 were likely the loud noises of Schelmety damaging property in the school's lobby, York City Police Chief Wes Kahley said, adding a gun was not found. No students or staff were hurt, he said.

Schelmety, 30, of 1127 E. King St., was arraigned Friday morning at the county's central booking unit on charges of making terroristic threats, ethnic intimidation, institutional vandalism, reckless endangerment, defiant trespass and criminal mischief.

He was committed to York County Prison, unable to post his $500,000 bail.

Let in by daughter: When officers arrived at the school Thursday, they found Schelmety in the lobby, smashing windows in an attempt to get into the school office, according to charging documents. He was then arrested, police said.

Witnesses told police he got into the school after he was "inadvertently let in" by his daughter, documents state.

But a school staff member immediately recognized Schelmety as having made threats the day before, and she quickly pulled Schelmety's daughter into the office and locked it, police said.

Windows smashed: That's when Schelmety started smashing windows with a mop handle and vacuum cleaner, destroying light fixtures, ripping items off the walls and yelling threats, documents state.

According to documents, he yelled, "I'm going to kill all the students in school ... everybody!"

Schelmety then threw the vacuum cleaner through the office window, police said.

As this was going on, students and office personnel took cover under desks in the office, afraid Schelmety had a gun, according to police.

83 kids: There were 83 students and 31 staff members in the school at the time, police said.

After his arrest, Schelmety admitted to detectives he broke school office windows to get to his daughter and that he threatened the principal by saying, "If I get in there ... if I can't get a hold of you then I'm going to pay a skinhead to hang your n-- ass from a tree," documents state.

Early damage estimates indicate Schelmety caused about $5,000 in damage to school property, police said.

Wednesday incident: Schelmety went to the school about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, angry because he believed his 12-year-old daughter was being bullied and that the school was not properly addressing the issue, according to police.

He threatened to "murder and shoot" people inside the school, documents allege, causing the school to go into lockdown.

A school resource officer arrested Schelmety and charged him with a third-degree felony charge of making terroristic threats and misdemeanor disorderly conduct, records state.

Schelmety told the officer he wanted to scare children at the school "to make a point," documents state.

He was arraigned on the charges for Wednesday's incident and bail was set at $1,500, records state.

Schelmety was released from York County Prison at 2:48 p.m. Thursday after posting bail, authorities said.

Less than 90 minutes later, he was back at the school, police said.

But Schelmety got no farther than the lobby because of locked inner doors.

"You can tell he was frustrated," Kahley said.

The school is in Spring Garden Township but is part of the York City School District.

Locked down: Thursday's incident happened as about 20 school staff members were tutoring students inside, district Superintendent Eric Holmes said.

As a precaution, the school was placed on lockdown.

"The kids were well hidden and were being taken care of by their teachers," Kahley said.

Students trapped inside were taken to the auditorium before they were transported on two Rabbit Transit buses to

Alexander D. Goode K-8 on Broad Street to be reunited with their parents.

Classes at Phineas Davis were held Friday, and police had a presence at all city schools, Holmes said.

"We want our parents to be aware of the fact that their children will be safe," he said.

-- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com. Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.