No charges in Columbia football game threat
No charges will be filed against the Lancaster County student whose comment prompted the evacuation of Columbia High School's stadium Friday night just before the school's football team was to play the York Suburban Trojans.
Columbia Borough Police and the school district considered the comment a threat, and the canceled game was rescheduled to Saturday afternoon at York Suburban High School, where it was played without incident but amid heightened security.
It was the second time in a week that a local high school football game was canceled because of safety concerns.
According to LancasterOnline, borough police and the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office decided Monday not to file charges against the 13-year-old Columbia boy who made the comment.
Borough Police Chief Jack Brommer told the news site the boy “made statements concerning a football game and a firearm,” but a spokesman for the DA's office said the investigation did not reveal a specific threat.
“As more information was gathered, it became evident there was no direct threat toward anyone attending the game or the stadium spectators in general,” Brett Hambright, the prosecutor's spokesman, told LancasterOnline.
Still, the decision to cancel the game was the right call, based on the information officials had at the time, the site quoted Hambright as saying.
It was a sentiment echoed in York County as the game was played Saturday.
"You gotta look out for the safety of the kids," said Tiffany Reever, a Spring Garden Township mother of three Suburban students. "That's No. 1 above all of everything, and if this is what they thought was best, I would just trust they know what they're doing."
Friday's threat came just a week after two men were shot outside a William Penn Senior High School game against another Lancaster County school, J.P. McCaskey, at Small Athletic Field in York City. The shootings prompted a lockdown of the stadium, keeping nearly 2,000 attendees from leaving the game.
Two men, Darius Allen, 23, of York City, and Antwan Jackson, 20, of the York area, were shot in the parking lot outside Small Athletic Field after being removed from the game by security, according to York City Police.
Allen was struck once in the abdomen, and Jackson was struck once in the back. The incident resulted in a 20-minute lockdown, with the family, friends and fans in attendance asked to remain inside the stadium until the all-clear was given.
Police say Stephon Brown, 15, of Reading, was the shooter. They are still looking for the teen.
In response, the York City School District has proposed a number of security improvements, including moving all future home football games to Saturday afternoons. The school board will vote on that decision at Wednesday's meeting.