PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A 70-year-old man accused of talking about making a bomb at South Hills Village went before a judge Monday.
But that hearing was cut short.
The night Frank Zahler was arrested; police said he had made terrorist threats that were so alarming South Hills Village had to be evacuated.
“You could definitely tell there was something a little bit off,” said witness Ben Munnell.
“This is a guy who is older and made a comment that was taken to the extreme,” said defense attorney David Schrager.
Monday in court after an outburst, Zahler was handcuffed showing some anger management issues, noted by the judge.
“Is he a danger to anybody?” his lawyer asked. “No, no he’s not”
But that wasn’t the impression 22-year-old Munnell and his brother got when they encountered Zahler at the mall last month.
After asking about cigarettes, he told the brothers he had some stuff to make bombs like the Boston bombings and to watch his briefcase.
They in turn notified store management and police.
“There’s kids there innocent people shopping I didn’t want anybody to get hurt,” Munnell said. “I didn’t know whether if he was serious or not. You just don’t know.”
The judge told Zahler today what he said that was stupid in light of recent events but he was never a danger to anyone. The judge continued Zahler’s case for 30 days for more counseling.
“I just feel like as long as he gets the right help you know he’ll be all right,” Munnell said.