Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2007

Police: Bomb threat arrest made; schools cancel evening events

April 19, 2007, 2:17 p.m. Updated April 19, 2007, 6:20 p.m.


Lawrence Police Department press conference

Lawrence Police Capt. Dave Cobb said that officers have recovered the cell phone used to make a bomb threat against local schools. Enlarge video

A 47-year-old man has been arrested in connection with Thursday's bomb threats against local schools.

Lawrence Police announced late Thursday afternoon that the man, identified as Michael Parker, had been arrested on suspicion of three counts of aggravated criminal threat.

Police have also recovered the cell phone used to make a bomb threat against local schools, Lawrence Police Capt. Dave Cobb said during a news conference earlier Thursday afternoon.

Officers found the phone during the search of an East Lawrence home; Cobb said a "person of interest" was still being interviewed on the matter at mid-afternoon.

"The person is still talking," he said.

According to the press release:

"A 47 year old Lawrence resident is currently being interviewed at the Lawrence Police Department. A search warrant was served at a residence in East Lawrence where officers recovered the phone used to call the Douglas County Dispatch Center with the threats. Officers conducting the search of the residence did not locate any evidence to indicate materials were present to make an explosive device.

"Officials have notified the school district that we have secured a person of interest and the phone used in the threats. No evidence of explosives was located."

Earlier, Cobb said said a series of "three or four" bomb threats were made this morning to 911 dispatchers.

The threats have been "non-descript and generic" without being specific about a location, Cobb said. The caller, a male, has mumbled words about a bomb at a school and city hall. The caller doesn't say what school or even what city, Cobb said.

City manager David Corliss said that city officials are looking into whether today's bomb scare is linked to the city's recent denial of an insurance claim from a man matching Parker's name. But Corliss said he didn't know enough details of the claim to say whether they were conclusively linked.

"We're still trying to check all of that and get some records," Corliss said. "We've given some records to the police department. ... City staff is reviewing a claim from a Mr. Parker that we had previously denied on a claim for an alleged injury on a city sidewalk."

According to court records, Parker has a paralyzed right hand and suffered a work injury in 2005 that limited the use of his right hand.

Meanwhile, Lawrence school officials sent out the following press release:

"The Lawrence Police Department has notified the school district of an all-clear and that there is no credible threat against our schools.

"Schools will follow normal procedures for the remainder of the school day and for school dismissal."

Several school activities were canceled:

¢ Broken Arrow canceled tonight's music program.

¢ The Southwest Junior High grade track meet is canceled. All other clubs and activities on the SWJHS campus this afternoon are canceled.

¢ Kennedy Elementary has postponed its music program

¢ Deerfield's music program is canceled.

¢ The Pinckney Elementary School Evening of the Arts has been canceled.


whatintheworld 11 years ago

Don't get channel 6-- I hope someone will update soon.

Kathy Gates 11 years ago

They think it was made by a 47 year old man. They have him in custody.

busymom 11 years ago

Everything else is online, why can't channel 6 do live feeds? Seriously for those that do not have cable or any reception.

Flap Doodle 11 years ago

Is there DNA evidence on the phone?

agrabass 11 years ago Actually I am rolling around on the ground about to wet my pants because that was sooooo funny!

Tony Kisner 11 years ago

The guy should be proud, what a clever trick - if you are 15 and have a chem test to take.

misslawrence 11 years ago


SoScared 11 years ago

i wonder if we have to go to school tommoorrow????

acg 11 years ago

Andini, I about fell over when I read that. Too funny!!!

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 11 years ago

Other Punchlines:

1) I'm really shocked! He was such a quiet phone. Never bothered anybody. I just can't believe that a phone like that would be capable of such a disruptive act.

2) The phone's psychologist testified in court that the insanity defense be considered because he was raised near a roundabout.

3) When phones are outlawed, only outlaws will use phones.

Now I can get back to work.


Moderateguy 11 years ago

Hopefully there are some new penalties for making terroristic threats since 9/11. This s.o.b. needs some real punnishment. I'm guessing this is the Fed's turf. Maybe that will keep our inept district attorney out of the mix.

Moderateguy 11 years ago

Then again, maybe we could all file small claims suits for lost wages due to daycares being closed etc..

ArmyBrat25 11 years ago

47?!?!?! How do you tell someone of that age to "grow up"?!?!?! Geez-how about get a life!

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 11 years ago

Army Brat, I'd say it this way, "Grow up, y'geezer!"


agrabass 11 years ago

this horrific day is ending on a nice note...Marion getting personal. Andini likes walks in the park, jazz music, and has a passion for knitting and yahtzee. Who needs when you've got ljw blogging! Go Marion!

emeier84 11 years ago

Well now there is a threat to Perry-Lecompton about another VT for tomorrow written on the bathroom walls.

Gareth Skarka 11 years ago

Gosh. Turns out that it was a crackpot, and no credible threat.

Color me SHOCKED.

Meanwhile, dipstick parents freaked out and overreacted, dragged their kids out of school, and did more to traumatize them than the supposed "threat" did.

Chicken Little, alive and well in Kansas.

(and to answer the inevitable question from some housewife -- YES, I have kids. They stayed in school today, because I teach them not to fear what MIGHT happen, but instead how to react when something DOES happen.)

prioress 11 years ago

I was wrong about the age, but men are usually the culprits. I'd say no jail time. If they can prove this, he'll pay the rest of his life for damages. Bye bye to any income tax refunds and other windfalls for the rest of his life. He better not win the lottery either.

perkins 11 years ago

had the hoaxer really wanted to disrupt, he would have strategically placed a dead wait, that only works on our stout courthouse staff.

Eudora_11 11 years ago

this is retarted... seriously they shoulda put more percautions even tho there was not any physical evidence you never know but if they started getting calls that early they shoulda cancelled classes... they should cancelle tomorrows classes..

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 11 years ago

Isn't that slippery. After the all clear, out come the "Level Headed" parents who knew the right thing to do was to leave your kids there. I saw and heard very little of such conviction a few hours ago.

I'm thankful that you were right.

Gareth does raise a what point do we stand in defiance of bullies and wackos and go about our lives? Luckily, it's up to us as parents and we get to raise our children pretty much how we choose.

My preference, I'd rather have a community of born again know-it-alls than grieving parents and missing children.


Eudora_11 11 years ago

^^ parents who raise there kids as bullies are dumb... bullying is the top reason for the incidents not everytime but a major part..

Eudora_11 11 years ago

um... yeah i dont type right because i just dont want to but really... thats not what this is about just for you to know.. yeah i may be a student i have the right to voice my oppion...

Gareth Skarka 11 years ago

THB-- A quick check of the first comment thread on this topic (OK, maybe not so quick -- it's a pretty huge thread!) will show that my level-headedness did not originate with the "all clear."

My kids and I were living in the NYC area on 9/11. You'll forgive me if I can't get worked up about Lawrence's little "me too!" drama.

Because, let's face it -- that's what it is. A copycat incident cashing in on a national story. Pretty much what it obviously was from the start.

EXks 11 years ago

Based on the reports of copycat threats, bomb threats, stupid mindless pranks and posts on this site, the collective DNA cosmetic makeup of this country is truly WARPED!

A healthy dose of Lithium in the nation's water supply is needed!

Hilary Morton 11 years ago

Sounds like the person in question really hates music programs. They sure managed to shut a bunch of music performances down today and this evening.

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

East Lawrence 47-year-old guy. turn 'im loose here in ELAW and we'll take care of the guy. not a good example of us fine folks who live in east lawrence. most of us =hard working friendly folks.

I've written how east lawrence is under we see the result. if only we had a representative city commission...[warning, sarcasm present note for the impaired.]

micbull 11 years ago

Why are parent's trashing one another? It's insane. We all chose to raise our children the way we see fit. Some may not agree but isn't that our right as an American. I picked up my daughters today, My husband and I did not want a 2 second decision to impact the rest of our lives. I could not bear the thougth of a decision that might have taken our children's lives. As parent's we have choices to make. No one is a bad parent if they left there children in school or pulled them out. It was the right decision for there family's at that time. We need to quite bashing on another and stand up for our children and look at the real problem at hand. Did the school district make the right decision? What can be done to better the crisis plan to better notify parent's? These question's should be on the debet table not parenting skills.

samsnewplace 11 years ago

Gareth you should take these little "me too" drama's very seriously. If you don't think we have nuts here in Lawrence, then obviously you haven't lived here very long. You can never be too careful.

oldgoof 11 years ago

I say just handcuff him between two posts outside of an elementary school or two and let the soccer moms have a go at him.

del888 11 years ago

2 things, first: If a bomb is in the school, does it make any sense to lock the kids inside? Seems like they should evacuate. second: bombers don't call ahead of time and give warning. They blow the place up, then call in to take the credit.

jonas 11 years ago

Funny, I didn't read anything against Lawrence into that comment. Are you going to suggest, Ramirez, that our bomb threat is in some way equivelent to 9/11, because without either of those factors, your post is pointless.

BrianR 11 years ago

"Why are parent's trashing one another? "

They're modeling the behavior that their children will one day exhibit. It will make them so proud.

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

from Eudora_11: um... yeah i dont type right because i just dont want to but really... thats not what this is about just for you to know.. yeah i may be a student i have the right to voice my oppion...

Hey E11, welcome its nice to hear from you, a student. you do have a right to express yourself, give your 'opinion,' and I'm glad you did. however, if your spelling and grammar are really wacked, its much harder to understand your point or take you very seriously.

there's no reason to cancel tomorrow's classes. many of the phone-terrorist's tomorrows are about to be canceled though!

have a nice day and come back to comment again.

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 11 years ago


Well...11:58 a.m. WAS before the 2:30 p.m. But look how the feel of the posts have changed. We're all glad this is over and most likely, the next incidents of this kind will not have so much effect...apathy is always in style.


rooga 11 years ago

The guy who did this lives/stays in a house on the southeast corner of 12th and NEW YORK! It is a well known "crackhouse" throughout the neighborhood!!!!! We are all very annoyed with these people and hope the LPD FINALLY busts this house for the drug deals that go down in front of it EVERYDAY!!!!!

StirrrThePot 11 years ago

Whoever the caller is, and however old he is, he is a douche bag. Now as a result, school programs are canceled for tonight.

Regardless of whether the threats are real or not, the POS should be hog-tied and dragged down Massachussets Street by a police car.

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 11 years ago

OH....btw...I am NOT trashing (or thrashing) least I hope I'm not. This is a Frank Exchange of Views.

A debate. This is a healthy way for all sides of an issue to be seen.


Sigmund 11 years ago

I like oldgoofs idea. Sell tickets and the tax deductible contributions goes to the schools. A cell phone to call in a bomb threat, LOSER!

Mike Blur 11 years ago

SE corner of 12th and NY...wasn't that where Screwy Louie lived as well? (I know there are at least 3 apartments there.)

Berserk 11 years ago

quote *** Whoever the caller is, and however old he is, he is a douche bag. Now as a result, school programs are canceled for tonight.

Regardless of whether the threats are real or not, the POS should be hog-tied and dragged down Massachussets Street by a police car.


Wow this is a deplorable... heinous even...

...spelling of Massachusetts & wether.

fundamental 11 years ago


Maybe I'm just a caveman lawyer, but I know that "whether" is the correct spelling of the word. Good work on Massachusetts, though. That's a toughie.

redjayj 11 years ago

After mondays horrible events i got my sons from school. It was a personal choice for me and I think parents who left their kids are fine. This is a nasty week in history. It disturbs me that some people dont take threats seriously.

mom_of_three 11 years ago

Gareth - And it's because of 9/11 that some parents took the actions they took. They wanted to pick their kids up for their safety. I didn't pick mine up, because they felt safe at school and weren't scared, but I WOULD HAVE in a heart beat if the kids asked.

And in light of all the anniversaries this week, you would think, as a parent, you might understand... But i guess not.

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

yes, that was Louie's neighborhood...don't recall if those particular apartments were his crib. owner of them is a scumlord though.

[scumlord=landlord who routinely degrades the neighborhood by renting to scum]

Sigmund 11 years ago

The Firefox browser has spell check built in. So if you are tried of the spelling Nazi's getting on UR case you might consider downloading it:

News_to_me 11 years ago

This guy's name is familiar to me and, if memory serves me right, he may be part of our homeless and/or mentally disturbed population. Glad that it seems to have been a hoax but that doesn't diminish its impact. It concerns me that there is very little help for the mentally ill, especially here in Lawrence. Big fancy new addition at LMH and yet still no mental health facility. These people need treatment too.

Drew Alan 11 years ago

Berserk... whether is spelled correctly in that quote... youe spelling "wether" is the proper name for a castrated ram... and I'm pretty sure thats not what whoever said that was talking about... why don't you make sure you aren't illiterate before you start calling out other people for spelling "mistakes"...?

Jersey_Girl 11 years ago

Sigmund - it's more that I take offense to someone calling something "retarted" and then not bothering to use correct spelling or grammar.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

castrated ram? ok I am lost on that one. Has anyone heard about tomorrow?

Ceallach 11 years ago

Foxfire is a great browser, Sigmund.

But most spelling errors are made simply because many of us are typing quick responses because we are at work and do not want to use too much time on posts.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

Well jersey girl my spelling sucks and grammer heck ask anyone that sucks to so I am sorry ahead of time for all my bad.

Sigmund 11 years ago

Oh, simply ignore the name calling. I don't pay attention to them, neither should you.

TheHeartlessBureaucrat 11 years ago

Mommaeffortx2, I believe that would be "Well COMMA, CAPITOL....or is it CAPITAL LETTER J...ersey CAPITAL(OL) LETTER G....uhhhhh...COMMA...."awwwww jeez, us simple folk here in Kansas understand you just fine Mommaeffortx2.

Dangit, my participle is all dangled again,


Godot 11 years ago

Wow, I am impressed with the work of the Lawrence Police on this one!

Jersey_Girl 11 years ago

mommaeffortx2 - did you call anything "retarted"? It's just a bit ironic that someone calls something retarded and can't even spell it correctly, much less use correct grammar.

Grundoon Luna 11 years ago

That was great, Fundamental. You put the fun in mental. :-)

Now spell antidisestablishmentarianism.

Gareth, I successfully retrieved my son from school without traumatizing him. We remained calm, I used this as an exercise in remaining calm (unlike another parent who was freaking ot) under trying circumstaces, expalined that I thought someone played a mean joke that wasn't at all funny, but that we were going to be safe insead of sorry. Not bad lessons to teach a kid.

A lot of bad juju associate with this partiular week in April: Waco, OKC, Columbine, and now Virginia Tech. I sure as hell wasn't going to leave him there for some copy cat to potentially take him from me.

as_I_live_and_breathe 11 years ago

Jersey Girl, maybe she meant re-Tarted as in: tarted again..... like I ate one pop tart and went to get another, I retarted.

Big_Leese 11 years ago

You all are a trip!!! I mean really! If you picked your kids up then good for you, if you didn't good for you! Geez!!! You are all focussed on talking mess to each other, instead dont you all think we should all put our heads and good thoughts together to try to figure out a plan to help our children incase something like this ever happens again and its for real?!! Maybe you should all stop trying to bash each other and maybe open your minds and listen instead of trying to judge each others choices they make in raising their own kids!!! NOW WERE THERE ANY TYPING ERRORS??? sorry, I am really shocked how a community acts when its really the time to pull together and be strong, not take each other apart! Now I do agree, I am not sure why the freakin school even let the children in the schools if the calls started at 5am! Why even chance it, oh! maybe they let school out to much for what do they claim! "early release" on Wednesdays are for? "Teacher planning????" And so, any kind of threat to our kids is not important enough to announce a school closing like they would for a snowy day!!!!! Now does that make any sense at all? not to me!

fsfirebird 11 years ago

i am a student at freestate and all this really concerns me. i realize todays threat wasn't carried out, but what if someone makes a threat again next week. will this incident cause everyone to assume that its another hoax? and what if this time it isn't.

i think everyone should think about ways to prevent things like this from happening rather than criticizing others spelling, grammar and decisions of how to raise their children.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

just saying sorry ahead of time. spelling and grammer really do suck.

Gareth Skarka 11 years ago

"time to pull together and be strong" ????

"time to pull together and be strong"????

You've got to be kidding me. IT WAS A HOAX.
How in hell is that a "time to pull together and be strong?"


Real Tragedies don't give you advanced warning, you halfwits. Read a book on terrorist bombing. The overwhelming majority of phoned warnings are hoaxes, and the remaining ones are in situations where there is an existing political agenda, and hence specific pre-arranged keywords used in the call to insure that the authorities know that it is real, and hence a demonstration of the bomber's power.

A "time to pull together and be strong".... Good lord. Drama queens win the day, apparently.

Big_Leese 11 years ago

Right and arent you glad it was a hoax!!!! And you know how terrorist and bombers think how?? How about lets just be thankful it was a hoax this time and pray next time is to!!! Question to Gareth or what ever!!! In this world, and in this time, when exactly do YOU think we should pull together and be strong?? I think with all that going on, every day is a good day to pull together and be strong! Now if something did really happen, and it effected you or yours, then you would be screaming lets all pull together and help you and/or yours! right!!!

smilingperpetually 11 years ago

Not to disrespect the parents but I am a student, and even if this whole situation was a hoax, it still was terrifying. To know that this person may blow up the building you are in and maybe kill and injury your peers is enough to scare teenagers. At school we all realized it didn't seem like anything was going to happen, but the fact that someone was even thinking about doing something to hurt us or the other students in Lawrence is enough to shake us all up. It is a feeling I will never forget.

Sigmund 11 years ago

You know what the best news is? One little sentence; "The person is still talking, he said." This 47 year old uses his own cell phone, makes multiple bomb threats, he doesn't have an attorney, and he is still talking to police! I can only hope he has a unlimited anytime minutes as he will talk himself into multiple felony convictions.

Can you hear me now you LOSER?!?!?!

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

Uh...I don't think he needs the phone anymore to talk to the police...he's in the same room with them now...

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

CNN has been reporting on a guy in CA this afternoon who is threatening to go on a shooting rampage with an AK47 and make Mon. at Virginia Tech look like a blip in the news...

Will the madness ever stop??

Sigmund 11 years ago

Yeah, I know it was an absurd exaggeration to illustrate a point. You see he stoopid enough to use his personal cell phone and he is talking to police and well there is the phone company commercial .....

You know you are right, its not all that funny if it goes over your head and I have to explain it!

He is still a 47 year old LOSER, LOSER, LOSER, LOOOOOOOSER!

Sigmund 11 years ago

I think we need an exit strategy, withdrawal date, and cut off federal funds from California.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

reported on a 14 year old saying he was going to do more than vt in florida on fox. said over 100 and this was a 14 yr old.

kelc323 11 years ago

I'm pulling this comment from a different blog I commented on today. Seems like some bullies grow up to be parents. Scary thought!

For Gareth --

Gareth, so far during this blog you've called Midwesterners dipsticks and hayseeds, said we're gullible and ignorant, and accused concerned parents of traumatizing their children and not caring about their education and to top it all off, we're a bunch of sheep.

Nope. You're not reactive in the least.

I'd rather be a sheep than a jackass any day of the week!

hujiko 11 years ago

just cancel the week for everyone, too much stuff happens in this week

rehaag 11 years ago

Oh boy! That guy must be very deep trouble!

SilenceDogood 11 years ago

I have two children in elementary school here in Lawrence, the youngest of whom is in the first grade.

After hearing the reports this morning I was fairly sure that the threats were a hoax. I thought the response of the local school and law enforcement officials to the information was well-planned and appropriate to the situation. I also believe that the people who work in the Lawrence schools are, as a group, outstanding -- especially when it comes to keeping our children safe.

That being said, this morning when I heard the news I got in my car, went to the school, and picked up my kids. I did this because I knew that when the schools went into lock-down mode, my first-grade son would sense the urgency of the situation and probably be a little scared by it all. And given the events of Monday, I suspected that my daughter (who is older) would be a little spooked, too

And I was correct on both counts.

My kids would have made it through the day just fine without me picking them up, but by doing so I let them know yet again that their parents love them, will protect them and are there for them -- messages a child can not hear too often.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

My first grader had no idea anything was going on, no panic and I left her all day. She was glad to get home, normal, and play with her friends I did sit down and talk to her and tell what had happened, she said ok can I go out side now. so it worked out for both of us I guess best to all.

not_dolph 11 years ago

Marion's too old (but that was a funny Andini)...but Cool hasn't posted today...hmmm

jmom 11 years ago

hey gareth--baa baa. sorry it took awhile to post another blog, i was out in the fields w/ the cattle, throwin' some hay, drinkin' a beer, pregnant & bare foot on the dirt floor kitchen makin supper for my youngins. at least us kansans have one thing going for us -- strong morale & value of family. something that you must not appreciate being the sophisticate you are; love & compassion must not be a knowledgeable value to teach your child.

Bud Stagg 11 years ago

This guy is now a terrorist, hoax or not. They should take him to a beachfront house in cuba for about 10 years. Let him hang out with some real terrorists. Until we start getting serious with these people, they will continue to do it. This guy cost my kids a full day of learning, and my staff a day of work. I want a pound of flesh. 60 days probation is not going to work.

This should be federal offense with 10 years, hell with that GET A ROPE!

not_dolph 11 years ago

Wow, what a surprise! You should'nt refer to yourselves as Knuckleheads though.

Sagecasey 11 years ago

99.9% of Jonas's posts are pointless. This is a gentleman/woman who lives in the fantasy of blogs and the internet instead of being in the real world.

mom_of_three 11 years ago

Gareth - maybe you will wake up tomorrow on the right side of the bed, because apparently, you woke up on the wrong side today.

Sagecasey 11 years ago

Bottom line, whether the panic was warranted/unwarranted there was nobody who was physically harmed.

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