Philadelphia area campus threat deadline passes without incident

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It was a deadline hanging over the heads of everyone on a college campus in our region, and fortunately it came and went without incident.

But even so, the threat of an attack on a Philadelphia area university was enough to keep everyone on edge Monday.

Villanova University freshman Patrick Kunetz reacted to news of the threat, telling us, "I was like, 'Oh shoot! Like, what am I gonna do tomorrow?' I was honestly really scared."

A lot of students were frightened by the warning from the FBI and ATF. Many skipped class on Monday.

Cecelia Matzols also attends Villanova, and says, "I went to my first class and barely anybody was there. So my teachers ended up cancelling the rest of the day."

James Suminski attends Drexel University as saw much of the same there. He says, "I mean, they didn't exactly cancel classes, which I found surprising. But a lot of teachers said if you're not feeling comfortable don't go to classes, which a lot of us didn't do."

Schools throughout the Delaware Valley amped up security, and they got supplemental patrols from local police.

Radnor Township added officers to the shift Monday and patrolled four college campuses.

They take all threats seriously, but this one stood out.

Radnor Twp. Police Lt. Andy Block explains, "What's really amplifying this is that the threat is coming off the same social media website that happened with the very tragic shooting in Oregon last week."

The threat was posted on 4chan, the same message board that was used to warn students in the northwest the day before the community college massacre in Oregon.

The threat was posted the day after the shooting and predicted an attack on a university near Philadelphia at 2 p.m. Monday.

The post reads: "On October fifth, at 1pm Central time, a fellow robot will take up arms at a university near Philadelphia."

The time passed and students were relieved and also reassured by the heavy police presence on their campuses.

Ariana Downs, a Drexel sophomore, says, "I was just more alert, and nothing happened. So, I guess I was in good hands."

Whether it was a hoax, or the plot was foiled by heavy security, the online threat caused a major disruption at schools around the Delaware Valley.
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