Student Captures Chaotic Scene On Cell Phone

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:

  • Norman Bildhauer

    I think it’s time we stop blaming the police and put the blame where it belongs.
    On the ones who create these disturbances.
    The police have every right to protect them selves,especially when they are out numbered.
    Take control of your children

  • Reger

    The one that should be punished for all this is the original threat maker. He caused events that led to the fights. He should take the prosecution for them.

  • Larry Walton

    people need to learn the difference between a TASER, Which is a registered trademark for a wired projectile firing unit, and a stun gun which is a hend held close range unit.

    • Tony

      Thank you! They are completely different.

  • j

    Taser my child and I will spend every waking moment and every cent to make you pay, dearly. Tasers can and have killed. Very limited skill set displayed by these men against children!!

    Tasers can and have killed. Taser = Human cattle prod

    • Duh J

      Be a parent and teach your child respect and discipline then you never have to worry about your child being tased. These kids show the very limited parenting skills that are displayed by you parents in having the police to deal with children!! its your job not the police to do that

    • Lee

      Would you rather have the police not get the crowd under control, and have your child hurt? I am sure that you would probably spend every waking moment and every cent to make them pay then also? The police had the responsiblity of protecting all of the students in that building. Quite honestly, maybe you should spend every waking moment and every cent you have to parent a child to that they would behave appropriately in such situation, and not have to worry about getting tased. I

  • lakisha morkons

    You have no clue what went on in that school them cops are inappropriate to those students they showed them no respect as soon as the fight broke out the police randomly picked anyone to grab and harrass students those policemen spoke to anyone of us students in any type of manner they placed force upon young females for unnecessary causes . The police aren’t anything and they wonder why they get disrespected,, cause they think they can treat us anytype of way ,,there just like us…
    -Penn Hills Students

    • Concerned Parent

      Based on the grammatical errors within your reply I am ashamed that my daughter is associated with students such as yourself. She is not even in high school yet and has better grammar than what you displayed above. How about instead of demanding respect you spend your time learning proper English and earning respect?

      • D

        I couldnt agree with u more!!! how about instead of demanding respect u show respect to them and u will get it in return! You have no idea what it takes to be a cop in todays world. But let me guess if something was wrong in ur life and you needed a Cop/Fire/EMS u would want them there right now!

    • Zoeyzotron

      LAKISHA – Children must earn respect, it is not a god given right.

    • Mr Soho

      Get back to school and learn some English Lakisha, before you post on this site.

    • Tony

      2 things… first as you said…”as soon as the fight broke out”! After a fight breaks out, cops do not have to show them respect. Their job is to stop the fight! Second, I can see by your writing that you are still a child and looking at the problem threw a child’s eyes.

    • just my opinion

      my daughter said if they were by the fight yes the police did grab them, but i guess the children hanging by the fight should have minded there own business and these things would not have happened. If your going to hang around the crowd with the trouble makes then your no better then the ones who started the fight. best thing to do is walk away and not run your mouth if your in that situation. you get disrespected when you disrespect and adult. some kids have a lot to learn.

  • Wendy Blotzer

    All I can say is that I would never want to be in a cop’s shoes. The students should behave like young adults. It was a potentially dangerous situation that the students made worse. Consequences should be issued for those that aggravated this situation.

    • just my opinion

      i’m sorry, but i’m tired of everyone saying Students made it worse!!! out of those students there where a lot of them that did nothing. my Daughter was in that building and she said yes a couple started fighting, and half of those kids did run to see what was going on, but the other half where trying to get out of that building. kids where trying to get out police were trying to get in police and kids where yelling children where crying. My daughter is 14 and i’m sure if your 14 year old was in that you would feel the same as i do. i had to get a call from my daughter who has never been to a football game and has never been on those streets to come get her and she had no idea where she was to go. i’m not blaming the police, or most of the Penn Hills students, i’m putting the blame on those handfull or more of students that acted out and the 18 year old that was not even from Penn Hills who started the whole mess. Just because a few bad apple started this does not make every child in Penn Hills bad!!! My daughter is an Honors student, and knows her father and i will not deal with it!! also i never thought my child was in danger till they told her to start walking home and she said there was a fight. i feel how ever things should have been handled different and that the kids should have never been taken of the bus in the first place. they should have had the buses bus them back to there bus stops and told to go home.

  • Dana

    I think that was a racist and ignorant statement. VANILLA really? For all you know it could have been someone VANILLA who started this entire fiasco. Get into 2011. What we need to do is rid the schools of the troublemakers so the ones who want to learn can!!!!

  • aunt sal

    Amen. I thought the same thing.

  • Candice

    Is anyone going to acknowledge the fact that something needs to change in the Penn Hills school district period?? I went there almost 10 years ago and it these things were happening daily THEN! I think its time that these comments and issues stop being posted on a wall and are are brought to the school boards attention before things get any worse…not that we’re far from that happening.

  • Concerned Taxpayer

    Forget about the tasers and the police. They did what they had to do to get the situation under control. The problem I see is that in 2011 you mean to tell me that one of the largest school districts in the region dosent have an evacuation policy or disaster plan to put in place. Oh that’s right they don’t. Two and a half hours for messages to go out is ridiculous. But what’s more ridiculous is the fact it took almost 30 or 40 minutes to lockdown. The first message sent about delayed busses, what a lie. Just be truthful, what are they trying to hide. I also hear they sent teachers and other staff to Linton to accept and house the kids as there policy says, but then some brainiac decides against it and moves them to Fralic where there were very few teachers and staff to keep order. This entire board needs removed. And can someone explain to me why on any given day at 3 when school let’s out there are 40 some students waiting for a PAT Bus in front of Rita Ice? These are just a few of the problems in this district.

    • GCS

      They are waiting for a PAT bus because half of them don’t even live in Penn Hills!!! They began to bus kids over from Homewood over 8 years ago and have been doing it ever since. These kids tortured me in Linton Middle School, the only thing I learned in the 3 years that I was there was how to defend myself. We had to walk through metal detectors every single day, our bags and pockets were checked, they even scanned us with another hand held detector after everything else. I was only in 6th grade! I understand why they did it, because they would find kids with knives and guns on a regular basis. It’s just absolutely disgusting that precautions like that even need to be taken in the first place. You can’t entirely blame the parents either. I got to a certain age and could determine right from wrong regardless of anything my dad taught me growing up. These kids should know better, and it’s very sad that they don’t.

    • why 40 students waiting for PAT bus

      the whole problem with the kids coming in from other areas to go to school is Penn Hills fault. ive lived in Penn Hills all my life and cause i never moved, ( cause my mother needs help in the home )they wanted utility bills in my name. when i told them i could give them my taxes forms, drivers licence, and checking info with my name and husbands name on it they told me that will not due!!!! how could my taxes forms not be used… they would only accept a utility bill so i have the water bill put in my name. the same way i’m sure ever other child is getting into the school distric that does not belong. just have a bill put in your name easy as that.

  • Tony

    First of all the police did not have Tasers which shot a cable of current. They had stun guns which only give a slight charge. The police have every right to protect themselves and the other WELL MANNERED students around. When a fight breaks out, it’s their job to stop it, not just let it go. Students became unruley and police treated it like any other mass distubance and tried to maintaine the crowd. Any student that almost got stunned should learn some disipline and how to respect the police. Come on parents, my son better not act like that or I hope he does get stunned.

  • n/a

    if you where there , i think you would understand their situation and what really was going on .

  • kristy

    lakisha – from your illiterate post, i can see the phsd is doing a “bang-up” job educating half-wits such as you. respect isn’t owed – it needs to be earned. you’re a clueless and, apparently, an uneducated child.

    j – you’re the kind of parent that every bad parent strives to emulate. you’re a sue-happy, trouble-making fool., who probably feels the school – not you – should be parenting (yes – “parent” is also a verb) your little darling. i’m sure your little angel would never do anything wrong, correct?

  • GCS

    Penn Hills is a disgrace. I can’t believe my childhood town has turned into a crime ridden jungle. It absolutely makes me sick! My advice to any and all parents who want their children to get a decent education in a SAFE and legitimate environment is to get out of there as fast as you can.

  • kristy

    if people feel that it’s acceptable for kids to fight (as many posters noted, “what do you expect?”), then maybe all of the dances, the prom, plays, and all sports activiities should be cancelled, since, you know, when a bunch of monsters get together in one place, this behavior’s “expected” and acceptable. morons.

  • One small voice

    Don’t you read the paper and watch the news, all those shootings, killing, drug related crimes, car chases, always occur in the Vanilla neighborhoods.

    • LMAO

      Vanilla? If you are talking about white, then you don’t read, listen and see right. it happens every where!!! does not matter of your color or where your from. You must be a Child!!!!

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