PENN HILLS (KDKA) — There was complete chaos Wednesday morning at Penn Hills High School as word spread of a bomb threat.
The school was evacuated, several students were arrested and parents were angry at police.
KDKA’s Jon Greiner talked to one student who captured an incident at the school’s athletic center on his cell phone. It’s where the students were taken for safety.
The scene included dogs barking, students fighting, other students screaming and running and Tasers going off.
It happened after students were taken to the Penn Hills indoor athletic facility to keep them safe from a threat that there were pipe bombs at the school.
One student, who didn’t want to be identified, recorded it all on his cell phone.
“Just crazy; it was chaos, everyone was running around, screaming, all we heard was Tasers, dogs barking, we didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I don’t think they needed to use Tasers because that just scared everybody. That just scared them even more.”
On the tape, you can hear students yell that someone’s been Tased, but no one on the tape reacts as if they were.
KDKA’s Jon Greiner reports:
The police chief says his officers displayed, but didn’t use the Tasers because they had to get the crowd under control.
“Needless to say, the officers were outnumbered. They were trying to get to the fight to stop the fight. They did display the Tasers,” said Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton. “If you’re familiar with a Taser, they pull a trigger, it sparks, gives an arc and they were using that as a deterrent to keep those students back away from the fight – keep other students from participating.”
Six students were arrested and many more were involved in a fight at some point.
Still, some students maintain police should not have continued to display the Tasers.
“For the first part; but after that fight broke out and they got control of that, they did not need to wave it around like that,” said the student who captured the cell phone video.
Chief Burton says his department was the only one on the scene and that Penn Hills school security does not carry Tasers.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports: