Court papers: Man threatened to kill students in York school

An enraged father threatened to kill all the students and teachers in a York school as he smashed up the lobby and caused more than $5,000 in damage Thursday, according to charging documents.

Eric Schelmety, 30, had also threatened to shoot and murder people at the Phineas Davis School during a previous incident a day earlier, the criminal complaint states.

The K-8 school was placed on lockdown and Schelmety was escorted out of the building at 300 South Ogontz Street after the initial threats Wednesday morning.

He told police he went to the school to cause a disruption because his daughter was being bullied and administrators were not addressing the problem, the complaint states.

He was arrested on charges of terroristic threats and disorderly conduct and was told he was no longer allowed on the property, but Schelmety posted $1,500 bond and returned to Phineas Davis shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday while 83 students and 31 staff members were in the building for after-school programs, according to court records.

His daughter inadvertently let Schelmety into the lobby where a staff member recognized him from his previous threats and quickly took the girl into the locked office. Schelmety then began smashing windows and yelled to the principal that he was “going to kill all the students in the school, everybody,” the complaint states.

Schelmety ripped items from the walls, damaged school property with a mop handle, and threw a vacuum cleaner through an office window, documents state.

Responding officers arrested Schelmety in the lobby as he was tried to force his way into the office. He later told authorities that he broke the office window because he was trying to get his daughter, police said in the complaint.

Initial calls to 911 stated that shots were fired in the school, but police later said no gun was involved. York Police Chief Wes Kahley said staffers and parents who called 911 might have mistaken the sounds of Schelmety's rampage for gunshots.

Schelmety was returned to York County Prison on $500,000 cash bail. He was charged with terroristic threats, ethnic intimidation, institutional vandalism, criminal mischief, defiant trespass, reckless endangerment, and disorderly conduct.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled April 2.


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