The district attorney won’t file charges for videos alluding to a threat against Temple.
As the University of Pittsburgh grapples with a string of bomb threats, Temple has passed the April 10 date of what some believed to be a threat via a series of YouTube videos posted in February.
Investigation into the videos, which some believed insinuated a bomb threat at the Bell Tower, led Temple Police and Philadelphia Police Central Detectives to track and find the student video creator at the Edge apartments on Feb. 22. However, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Charging Unit has decided no charges will be filed in the case.
On Feb. 22, Temple Police identified the 21-year-old Temple student responsible for creating and posting three YouTube videos seemingly threatening the Bell Tower area. The final video was posted Feb. 16 and was the most overt, said Charles Leone, deputy director of Campus Safety Services. The video showed a cardboard box with ‘4/10/12’ written on it, last Tuesday’s date, and ended with the screen going black and sounds of an explosion.
After investigating the incident last month, Temple Police determined there was no threat to the Temple community, Leone said.
“We felt the student involved with the video was using it as a scare tactic crossing the line of creativity, [but] there was never a thought of danger,” he added.
Temple Police responded directly to inquiries about the incident, but since they quickly established no threat to the community, no alert or advisory was sent.
Still, Temple Police had extra patrols checking the Bell Tower on April 10, Leone said.
“The DA should at least charge this guy with making threats against people and a school,” said Ethan Schwartz, senior film and media arts major, who was not aware of the videos. “The last thing anyone wants is another horrific school shooting or bombing. And by the DA not taking action against this guy, they are pretty much telling others that they won’t get in trouble unless they really do carry out their actions.”
“I think that kid is obviously deeply disturbed and people should be aware that he was planning on doing that,” Donna Mulville, senior human resources major, said.
Although the student was not charged by the city, the case was processed through the university’s Student Code of Conduct, though Leone declined comment on the hearing and its outcome due to student record restrictions.
Becky Kerner can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.