New Castle News

Shenango

May 10, 2014

Shenango student charged with having weapons on school grounds

NEW CASTLE — A Shenango High student accused of blowing up mailboxes is facing more charges for allegedly having weapons on school grounds.

Shenango Township police said that a Shenango High School principal searched the car of 18-year-old Joshua Michael Klein, charged earlier this week for alleged mailbox bombings.

The principal reported finding a machete with a 14-inch blade, a metal throwing star, an aerial flare gun loaded with an unused flare and a small red device labeled “Danger Standard Railroad Fusee Corp.,” which police said is a possible railroad torpedo loaded with explosive material.

The search came about after township officers went to the school, where Klein is a student, around 10:15 a.m.  Wednesday to arrest him on a warrant for alleged mailbox bombings.

The principal had taken him to the front office and when police searched his clothes, they found an electronic cigarette, keys and a cell phone in his pockets. School policy prohibits having electronic cigarettes on school grounds, according to police reports.

The principal then told police he wanted to search Klein’s vehicle for safety reasons and police and the principal used Klein’s keys to open his car.

Upon finding the items in the car, the police contacted the Allegheny County Bomb Squad and a spokesman said the red device was an explosive capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. The bomb squad picked up the device Thursday morning for further analysis, police said.

The Shenango police yesterday charged Klein with four counts of possession of weapons on school property and four counts of making repairs or selling of offensive weapons and one count each of possession of an explosive or incendiary material and unlawful possession or manufacture of weapons of mass destruction.

Both Klein and 19-year-old Robert McConahy of 915 Marie Ave. had been arrested for allegedly using explosives to blow up mailboxes in the township. The two also are accused of starting a fire on April 5 that destroyed a house on Ellwood Road. They allegedly were using carbon dioxide bombs and improvised devices.

Klein was lodged in the Lawrence County jail on $5,000 on Wednesday and has since been freed on bail. He was arraigned yesterday afternoon on the new charges. District Judge David B. Rishel set a nonmonetary bond.

Klein is not allowed on school grounds, and must be fingerprinted and must secure an attorney, according to the judge’s orders.

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