Pipe bomb case waived to court

January 24, 2013
Ryan Pfrogner leaves district court in Charleroi Thursday after waiving charges he made pipe bombs in his Speers home. - Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

CHARLEROI – Prosecutors Thursday withdrew a felony count of risking a catastrophe against a Charleroi Area High School senior accused of making pipe bombs in his Speers home.

The decision was reached when Ryan Pfrogner, 18, appeared in district court for a preliminary hearing and, instead, waived his case to trial in Washington County Court, a court official said.

“He’s a great kid,” Charleroi Area Superintendent Brad Ferko said as he left the office of District Judge Larry Hopkins. “He made a stupid mistake,”

Pfrogner is free on $50,000 bond following his arrest Jan. 3 on charges filed by Charleroi Regional police after investigators found two small PVC pipe bombs and bomb-making materials Nov. 20 in his bedroom at 136 River St. Police searched his residence following allegations that he brought a pipe bomb to school that month and left it in the trunk of his car parked in the student lot.

The Washington County district attorney’s office withdrew charges police filed involving taking a weapon onto school property because there was no evidence to support that allegation.

Pfrogner still faces charges of making offensive weapons and reckless endangerment, court records show.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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