Student charged with bringing pipe bomb to school

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A Charleroi Area High School student was charged Tuesday by school district police with causing or risking a catastrophe, having prohibited offensive weapons and possession of a weapon on school property for allegedly bringing a pipe bomb to school earlier this month.


The charges against Ryan Jacob Pfrogner, 18, of 136 River St., Lower Speers, Belle Vernon, were filed at the office of District Judge Larry Hopkins by school police Chief Michael Kresich.


Kresich, in documents filed with Hopkins, indicated that the school district superintendent, Dr. Brad Ferko, said he received information that Pfrogner and another student may have possessed homemade explosive devices or pipe bomb on school property.


After getting the information Nov. 19, the school property was searched but no pipe bomb was found. The following day, Pfrogner admitted to Ferko and school Principal Patricia Mason that he had a live pipe bomb in his car on Nov. 16. The bomb was later exploded by Pfronger at a location in Speers after school hours.


Pfronger also admitted to Kresich that he had live pipe bombs at his home in Speers Borough. Two live pipe bombs made of PVC pipe, gunpowder and a fuse were found in his bedroom. The items were removed by the Allegheny County Police Department bomb squad. Bomb-making material also was found in a work area of the home.


School district officials said earlier this month they took immediate action against Pfronger, but did not elaborate on his status with the school.


Charges against the teen will be sent by summons. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 3 before Hopkins.


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