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School Prankster Arrested Under Patriot Act

Capital News 9 | April 5 2005

Colonie police have made an arrest stemming from Monday's lockdown at Colonie Central High School.

John Pompeii, 16, of Colonie has been arrested for the crime. Police said he put two smoke bombs inside a tin box, about the size of a shoe box. An incense fuse, called a punk, was attached to the smoke bombs through a puncture in the tin box.

Police said the device was lit and left in a bathroom stall. A teacher discovered the device and immediately notified the principal.

Students were confined to their classrooms for over two hours as bomb-sniffing dogs patrolled the hallways.

Colonie Police Chief Steve Heider said, "This is a very serious thing. You have to understand, with school safety and the school setting, this actually falls under the Patriot Act. We'll be looking at federal charges, in addition to state and local charges. So, do we want to call it a prank? No. This is a very serious, unforgiving act by someone who was hell bent, obviously, on obstructing the school process."

Pompeii faces a felony charge of placing a false bomb in the first degree, and two misdemeanor charges.

Colonie Central High School will be open Tuesday.

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