Two bomb threats multiply reward

Mallory Grossman and Andrew Shull | April 2, 2012    

After the eighth and ninth bomb threats of the semester occurred on Monday, Pitt raised the… After the eighth and ninth bomb threats of the semester occurred on Monday, Pitt raised the reward for information on the perpetrator to $50,000.

After the threat to the Cathedral of Learning had been received Monday, Pitt posted a message on the my.pitt homepage notifying students of the increased reward for anyone who has information about the actor responsible for the threats. Pitt originally posted a notice offering a $10,000 reward on the homepage on Friday.

The University sent out an Emergency Notification System message at 3:30 p.m. alerting the campus to the threat at David Lawrence Hall and advising everyone to evacuate the building. The threat concluded about an hour later.

At 5:30 p.m., Pitt sent out another ENS alert, this time for a bomb threat at the Cathedral of Learning. An ENS alert concluded the disturbance and reopened the building at 6:45 p.m. This marks the sixth bomb threat the Cathedral has received this semester.

Pitt spokesman Robert Hill would not comment on whether the threats on Monday were related to the previous ones or on how police received them. He said he could only reiterate the ENS message.

Garth Porter, a senior economics major, had a week of class wiped out by the threats at the Cathedral of Learning.

He said that he didn’t tell his roommate that he hoped his night class wouldn’t be canceled by a threat because he “didn’t want to jinx it.”

“But alas, we’re here,” he said, standing outside of the evacuated Cathedral.

Porter said that he checked his phone before parking in Soldiers & Sailors Garage and only learned of the threat after he parked — bad timing that he said would cost him $5.

Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kathy Humphrey outlined the measures that Pitt is taking to find the actor in an email sent out to students Friday.

These measures include increased security guard coverage, reviewing video footage of entrances to various locations, reviewing fingerprint evidence and working with the FBI to utilize its resources and manpower.

The email also said that Pitt has hired a handwriting expert to evaluate the messages written by the actor, all of which were found on bathroom stalls.

Lingering Alarm

After the ENS alert went out declaring the threat at the Cathedral over at 6:45 p.m., the lights in the building continued flashing. Around 6:50 p.m., the alarms sounded again, setting off another evacuation. By 7 p.m., the alarms were silent, and people starting filing back inside the building.

Hill did not have any further information on the subsequent alarm.

Michael Ringling contributed to the reporting

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