Girls charged in school bomb threat

March 29, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

County police arrested four 11-year-old girls from George Fox Middle School on Thursday on charges of making a bomb threat at their school on Wednesday.

The sixth-graders pretended to find a note scribbled with the threat in a school stairwell, police said.

The girls, who carried the note to the school office before sixth period, said they didn't know anything about it, but later told police that one of the girls wrote the note so that they would have an excuse for being late to class.

Police said the girls told them that they had been lingering in the hall just after noon and came up with the scheme when they realized they were going to be late.

Police released the girls, none of whom had any previous arrests, to their parents.

The threat Wednesday was the 112th since the school year began in August.

Police have made 41 arrests in the incidents.

County police, alerted by a tipster, found a Severn man who was shot twice in the stomach Friday, lying between two cars in the 8500 block of Pioneer Drive, police said.

Simon Howard Wright, 38, of the 1700 block of Richfield Drive was listed in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, police said.

Police said the tipster who called said he heard three to five shots.

They could not say what time the call came in.

Officers were unable to locate any witnesses, police said.

Two police officers arrested a Bowie man Friday on bank robbery charges immediately after a robber had walked into a Crofton bank branch with a .22-caliber handgun, demanded money and placed something that looked like a bomb on a counter, county police said.

Charles Richard Altfather, 61, of the 3900 block of Winchester Lane was charged with armed robbery and first- and second-degree assault, police said.

Police said a man entered the Citizens National Bank branch in the 1200 block of Route 3 South about 12: 30 p.m. brandishing a handgun and announcing a robbery.

The man ordered the employees into a vault, said he had a bomb and placed a device on a counter. He demanded that the manager fill a black trash bag with money, police said.

After the manager complied, the man warned the employees he could detonate the bomb from a distance and ran out the door, where county Officer Mark Walker and Crofton Police Sgt. John Wortman arrested him, police said.

Walker and Wortman took a .22-caliber handgun and a bag of money from the man, police said.

It was unclear how the police officers received information on the robbery.

State fire marshals examined the device left on the bank counter. They X-rayed it and found that it was two smoke bombs tied together.

The FBI is investigating whether the suspect might be linked to similar bank robberies in the area, police said.

Pub Date: 3/29/98

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