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Police charge Cowansville man with making bomb threat against Karns City High School

Brian C. Rittmeyer
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State police in Butler County have charged an 18-year-old Cowansville man with making a bomb threat against Karns City High School.

Garrett Michael DeBacco, who turned 18 on Feb. 17, was charged with the felony on Friday. He was being held in the Butler County Jail on $50,000 bail.

According to a notice from the district, a bomb threat was found at the Fairview Township high school on Tuesday.

In a news release, state police said the threat had been written in a bathroom.

“We immediately notified state police and evacuated the building,” Superintendent Eric D. Ritzert said in the notice posted to the district’s website. “State police worked with our school police officers to determine the threat was not credible.”

Ritzert said the district takes all threats seriously and “will implement all appropriate disciplinary action under our student code of conduct and the Pennsylvania State Law.”

Karns City has five school police officers. All are retired state police officers.

“If you see or hear any disturbing statement involving our schools or our students, please immediately report it to local law enforcement and the school district,” Ritzert said.

DeBacco is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday before District Judge Lewis E. Stoughton.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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