- COMMUNITY LINKS
According to an affidavit of probable cause released by District Judge Donald Wilhelm on Tuesday afternoon, two St. Marys Area High School students were charged with third-degree misdemeanors in relation to an incident that took place at Elk County Catholic High School on the morning of April 28.
On April 28 at approximately 8 a.m., Anthony Pistner, a member of the St. Marys City Police Department, received a phone call from John Schneider, vice principal of the Elk County Catholic High School. He reported a white male, approximately 18 years old, had entered the school dressed in a black T-shirt and khaki pants carrying cleaning supplies.
A faculty member alerted Schneider that the individual had arrived and began cleaning the halls near the auxiliary gym. He was further described as thin, approximately 6 feet, 2 inches with a thin, painted-on black mustache. Schneider located the male and asked him what he was doing. He responded that he was working. Schneider reported he informed the male he was not a member of the student body, or a member of the faculty and he would have to leave. The male asked Schneider if he wanted somebody to clean for free. Schneider responded "no" and told the male to leave. The male gathered up his cleaning supplies and exited the building.
As Pistner was exiting the station to respond to the school for a follow-up investigation, he indicated that he was informed by Chief Todd Caltagarone that another member of Elk County Catholic had called and reported an intruder was currently in the building. Pistner, Caltagarone and Officer Largey responded.
Elk County Control was asked to contact the school and confirm the report of the intruder. While the officers were en route, Elk County Control confirmed the school did have an intruder and the school was in a lockdown. Chief Caltagarone requested backup from area agencies, as well as call out-of-St. Marys police officers.
Upon arrival at the school, Chief Caltagarone took one male into custody in the parking lot. This occurred north of the school building's main entrance. When taken into custody, the male was in possession of a wash bucket containing several cleaning items, one push broom and one mop. Officer Pistner escorted the male to his patrol vehicle, where he was searched and placed in the rear-caged portion of the vehicle. Upon the search of his person, he was found to be in possession of a cell phone, a homemade key ring with several keys attached to it, a rag, black garbage bags and one tube of mascara.
Officer Pistner asked him his name and he reported himself to be Connor Rohrback. Officer Pistner asked him what this was all about. He stated it was a senior prank. Officer Pistner asked him if there was anybody else in the school. Rohrback stated no; however, his friend was in the school earlier pretending to be a janitor and was thrown out. When asked, he said his friend was John Reed.
A BOLO (Be On the Look-Out) was aired regarding Reed and the vehicle he was possibly operating. At approximately 8:50 a.m., John Reed was taken into custody at the St. Marys Area High School. Officer Harshbarger arrived and transported Reed to the St. Marys City Police Department.
Reed's vehicle was found in the parking lot of the St. Marys Area High School. It was impounded by the St. Marys City Police Department and placed in the city impound lot. Rohrback's vehicle was also impounded after it was identified in the parking lot of Elk County Catholic High School.
All officers were cleared from Elk County Catholic after everything was confirmed to be secure. Officer Pistner returned to the St. Marys City Police Station, where Rohrback and Reed were being held. Officer Harshbarger was interviewing the suspects at this time. It was confirmed that the suspects were Connor McKenzie Rohrback, 18, and John "Jake" Augustus Reed, 18. Written statements were obtained from both individuals.
Officer Pistner indicated in the affidavit that he felt there is enough evidence to charge John Augustus Reed and Connor McKenzie Rohrback with the following charges: one count of criminal trespass-defiant trespass, a grade-three misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, also a grade-three misdemeanor. A hearing was set before District Justice Wilhelm for June 14 at 2 p.m.