NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. (KDKA) — The man accused of making school threats to divert police from a planned bank robbery while wearing a very realistic mask appeared in court for this first time.
Officials said 35-year-old Luke Dell from Ohio, walked into the Bob Evans on Route 30 in North Huntingdon Township last month while wearing the mask.READ MORE: The Health Benefits Behind De-Cluttering And Spring Cleaning
He passed a note to a worker that said there was an active shooter threat and multiple bombs at Norwin and Jeannette High Schools, police said.
Dell was later pulled over by the police and admitted he passed the note in order to get police officers to respond to the threats at the schools.
Police said Dell planned to rob a bank in the Circleville area. He never made it to the bank.
“Just like every person, we make bad choices sometimes,” said Dell’s twin sister Jessie Thompson. “But Luke is an outstanding guy, and I know he won’t give up on just one day getting out.”READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Long Streak Of Temperatures Below 70º Could End This Week
On Wednesday, Dell waived his right to a hearing on charges of making terroristic threats.
“Mr. Dell has no criminal record, he has no prior history,” attorney Michael Aubele said. “The events that took place that day are completely out of character for Luke and he has the support of his family back in Ohio and we would like to get him there for the holidays.”
“The prison that he’s in right now, the men can’t talk highly enough about him,” Thompson said. “He spends his commissary money on people. He buys them things because he loves people.”
A judge denied Dell’s bond, saying he is a danger to the community, something his family does not understand.MORE NEWS: Homicide Trial Ordered In Young Amish Woman's Disappearance
“He started a prayer circle,” Thompson said. “It started as two people and they have outgrown the room they are in. They pray together every night. They pray for their families and the children they miss. That’s just a testament to who he is.”