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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - Bellevue bomb threat suspect found

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:01 PM

Bellevue Police have identified a teenager in Pennsylvania as the person responsible for last month's bomb scare at Bellevue High School.

Capt. Matt Johnson drove to Nanty Glo, Pa. on Monday to confront an 18-year-old college freshman who had posted a threatening message on the Sandusky Register's Web site on Oct. 23 about a student hostage/lockdown drill held at the school.

"He was very apologetic and remorseful," Johnson said. "He was in tears most of the time. It was meant as a joke."

Johnson said the teenager looked at the paper's Web site after someone in this area told him about the video while they were playing X-Box video games online.

Bellevue police are meeting with the Sandusky County prosecutor to decide what charges will be filed against the teen. Johnson said the boy and his father agreed to travel to Bellevue to face the charges.

Johnson said the boy is a college freshman who lives at home and commutes to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

"If you go back and look at the blog entries, a couple of kids said some really stupid things," Johnson said. "He didn't realize how much of a stir he would cause."

Johnson said the boy said he wasn't surprised to see a detective on his doorstep. "He said he kind of figured someone would be coming to talk to him eventually after he realized what had happened," Johnson said. "He said he thought about calling and turning himself in, but he was scared."

The police captain said a hearing date will be set once formal charges are filed and boy and his father promised to make the four-hour trip to Bellevue for court proceedings. Nanty Glo is a community of about 3,000 people 65 miles east of Pittsburgh, Johnson said.

Detective Don Rumbutis of the Sandusky Police Department and the FBI tracked down the teen through his Web address, Johnson said.

Bellevue Superintendent Steve Schumm said he still hopes the prosecutor will charge the teenager with the severest crime possible.

"One of the things that bothers me the most is that we've got to set up some filters or some type of responsibility so somebody doesn't continually post something irresponsible like this," Schumm said. "I want to compliment the police departments and the FBI for continually pursuing this incident. That's the way we're going to stop these things."

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