One charged in Eastern York bomb threat
An 18-year-old is accused of sending a bomb threat to Eastern York School District, prompting an evacuation and early dismissal of every district school late last week, according to police.
Wrightsville Police say Jacob M. Chirichello sent the message "There is a bomb in the school" to the district's SafeSchools Alert program Friday, March 9.
Officer Adam Schaum, the department's officer-in-charge, wrote in charging documents that Hellam Township Police and Lower Windsor Township Police assisted in searching all five district schools and that all schools were cleared Friday.
Chirichello, of the first block of Christine Drive, East Prospect, is charged with making terroristic threats and making terroristic threats causing an evacuation of a building.
Threats: According to court documents, the district received the tip through SafeSchools Alert about 9:45 a.m. Friday. Schaum told district officials to evacuate all schools.
SafeSchools Alert, according to the district's website, is a tip reporting service that allows students, staff, parents and others to submit safety concerns to the district administration through texting, phone calls, email or the SafeSchools website.
Superintendent Darla Pianowski said in a statement that since the threat didn't identify any school, all five schools were evacuated and dismissed early that day.
"After an extensive search involving several police departments, trained K9 units, school officials, and other local emergency responders, the buildings were declared to be safe and our local law enforcement is currently investigating leads to identify the suspect," Pianowski wrote.
About 11:30 a.m., Schaum reached out to the SafeSchools service and tracked the number associated with the tip, court documents state.
That number, according to police, belonged to Chirichello. That information was passed along to a school official who was able to find Chirichello's information in school records, according to police.
It is not immediately clear if Chirichello was a student at the time of the incident. Schaum could not be reached for clarification Monday, March 12.
Chirichello was arraigned at the county's central booking unit Saturday morning, according to the York County Sheriff's Office. He remains free after posting $15,000 bail.
It is not clear if Chirichello has an attorney.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 21 at District Judge Robert Eckenrode's office.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.