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UPDATE: Police Seek Suspect After St. Peter School Lockdown, Bomb Threat

St. Peter Church and school go on lockdown Monday morning; Students are evacuated after bomb threat in the afternoon.

5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14—Geneva police are searching for a middle-aged white male who threatened to "blow up" St. Peter School if it wasn't evacuated Monday afternoon.

students were held in lockdown in the morning after someone broke a window and left a white powdery substance in an envelope. Then students were evacuated sometime before 2 p.m. Monday when the school received the bomb threat.

"At 1:46 p.m. Geneva Police Department units were dispatched to St. Peter School and Church, 1881 Kaneville Road, in reference to a report of a bomb threat," said Cmdr. Julie Nash in a press release that went out about 5 p.m.

"Geneva units were advised that a subject at St. Peter School was approached while outside of the building and advised by an unknown subject that the building was going to blow up if everyone did not evacuate."

When the police were advised of the bomb threat, "all students and personnel were evacuated from within the building to a safe location," the press release said.

All students were ultimately reunited with their parents or guardians.

"With the assistance of the Kane County Sheriff’s Department and Cook County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 units, the school and church were searched, with negative results," the release said.

"The police cannot speculate on whether this incident is related to the earlier (incident.)"

Police describe the suspect as a white male, about 40 years old with short brown hair, blue eyes and a medium build. He had "a couple days' unshaven face" and was seen driving a white minivan with tinted windows.

The lockdown of and St. Peter School began at around 10 a.m., when Geneva police were dispatched "in reference to a criminal damage to property report (broken window)," an earlier  press release said.

"While at the scene, units were advised by school personnel that a suspicious envelope had been located in the office area where the window had been broken. The envelope contained an unknown substance. (Because the substance was) unknown, it was determined by the school administration, Geneva Police Department and Geneva Fire Department that the school would go into a lockdown.

"With the assistance of the Aurora Fire Department, it was determined that the substance was a non-threatening household product. ... There is no further identifying information on the substance at this time."

At 2 p.m., a  truck and at least a half dozen police officers were in the St. Peter parking lot, overseeing what appeared to be a search or examination of the school.

Nash said at about 2:15 p.m. that the school received a threat, and the threat appeared to have passed.

Kay November 16, 2011 at 05:56 PM
On the contrary, clear harm was done. Students were on lock-down for the greater part of the day, a student was subject to a verbal threat in the parking lot, and the entire student body was marched to another building as a photographer recorded their progress. Students are now frightened to attend school, and that fear will linger. The person who issued the threat to the student was no neighborhood kid pulling some childish prank, but an adult. We might surmise that this adult enjoyed the fear and disruption his threat very efficiently generated, and we might just as easily surmise that the student who was personally subject to the threat will suffer some long term consequences due to that experience. Parents are of course grateful for the safe return of their children and the calm leadership of teachers and administrators, but this incident can hardly be regarded as a stellar achievement of either school security procedures or law enforcement, and it can and should lead to review and revision of how any future such incidents might better be handled. Anyone with sense and a conscience who sees those photos of students being marched to the other school should cringe. Besides indicating poor taste and even poorer editorial judgement, those photos tell the story of just how easy it would have been for the day to end in utter tragedy. As it stands, the day ended in fear that will last, and that, too, is criminal. Yes, harm was done.
Gil Dizon November 16, 2011 at 07:58 PM
Thank you Kay! I couldn't agree with you more. This comes from a concerned parent of 2 children that attend St. Peter School.
David November 16, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Jeff, not sure why you need to leave sophomoric comments. Vicki asks a fair question. What was your business at St Peter on Monday? Were you there as a credentialed member of the press or do you have children attending? No conspiracy here...just answer the question.
Jeff Danklefsen November 17, 2011 at 04:33 AM
What happened to Jeff Ward's original post from yesterday regarding police efforts? Do not deny us the great wisdom and vast knowledge of the man who knows everything. We eagerly await his posts. The exchange between Cassandra and Ann is also missing. BTW. I was of the understanding Patch required full names to comment.
JB November 22, 2011 at 05:28 AM
Take the pictures of the students and the others besides the police in the parking lot DOWN. YOU ARE MORE OF A THREAT BY DOING THIS!!!!!!! WE DON'T NEED SOMEONE DOCUMENTING OUR CHILDRENS' SCHOOL EMERGENCY PLAN!

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