Sunday, May 17, 2009

PA: School aide charged with making threats

Police arrested a Bensalem High School aide after a student found a threatening note directed at another teacher's aide and several .38 caliber bullets in a water fountain at the school.

Anthony Siwinski, 49, of Headhouse Square in Bensalem, is charged with making terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person and harassment.

He was arraigned by District Judge Joanne Kline early Friday morning and sent to prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Siwinski, a former Philadelphia police officer, was leaving the school about 10 a.m. May 8 when he told a 17-year-old student to get a piece of trash out of a water fountain in a first floor hallway, according to court records. The kid found the note and bullets and police were called. A second note was found that expressed hate for an aide and said two bombs would be set off at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., according to police.

As police collected evidence, they asked to speak with Siwinski and were told he'd left to go home to take care of his daughter. However, they later learned he was working a second job. During a later interview with police, Siwinski provided a handwriting sample that investigators believe is "exactly the same handwriting," as the threatening note, according to court records.

Siwinski consented to a search of his home and police said they found .38 caliber, .25 caliber and .22 caliber bullets.

Police said during a phone conversation with Siwinski on Monday, he asked if he was being charged and stated "he would rather take 15 pills than go to jail," according to court records. He eventually agreed to turn himself in Thursday but never showed up. He was taken into custody Thursday night, police said.

Siwinski is on probation for assault and theft charges from two separate incidents in 2008.

The newspaper was unsuccessful in reaching school district officials for comment Friday.

Matt Coughlin can be reached at 215-949-4172 or

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