Community college to reopen after threat

March 12, 2008 3:07:43 PM PDT
Delaware County Community College will reopen for evening classes.

The threat seems to have been a hoax, but this is the second time in less than a year that the school has been forced to close 5 campuses and cancel classes for thousands. College administrators say they had no choice than to play it safe.

"Somebody walked into the classroom and said school's been canceled," said a student.

About 11 Wednesday morning, Delaware County Community College evacuated and shut down all five of its campuses because of the bomb threat. By email, phone call, and text message, more than 10-thousand students learned classes were canceled.

"We got a message on the website, sent an email to all employees and physically began walking the halls informing students that they are to leave immediately," Kathy Breslin of DCCC Public Relations told Action News.

A receptionist took the threatening call from a man phoning from off campus. He warned a bomb would explode at 2 o'clock.

Police responded and with the help of the bomb squad and a specially-trained dog they searched the main building on the community college's Marple Township campus, the presumed target of the bomb threat.

"As of right now, there is no problem that we've turned up. The building has been scoured from top to bottom," said Tom Murray, Marple Township's Police Chief.

It's not the first time this community college has been forced to take such action. Last May, DCCC closed its five campuses for five days because of a threatening email.

Students told us they appreciate the fact that the college takes their safety so seriously.

"Good, good. Wonderful. We need that you know. Take all threats seriously, absolutely," Sophomore Margaret Hull said.

"I think it's good that they're taking a lot of precautions with this becausea i know parents and students would be outraged if they didn't take it seriously and just thought it was a joke," Freshman John Angiolillo added.

This is mid-terms and spring break starts next week. Even if this was just a hoax, we're told the caller faces very serious charges at the local and federal level. The person who sent last year's threatening email has not been caught, but using phone records, police are working to zero in on today's caller. Again, classes will resume at 6 Wednesday night.