Lehigh Valley

Allentown man charged for calling in fake William Allen HS gun threat

He allegedly called 911 to report student with gun

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The man accused of calling a fake gun threat into an Allentown high school also stands accused of punching his stepson in the face.

Jonah Rodriguez, of North 11th Street in Allentown, faces assault and terroristic threats charges in connection with the two separate incidents. District Judge Tom Creighton arraigned the 37-year-old Friday night, setting bail at a combined $10,000.

Allentown police responded to William Allen High School shortly before 8 a.m. Feb. 22 to investigate a report that a student brought a handgun to school. Police said the call to emergency dispatch came from an unregistered cell phone and identified the student.

Officers removed the student from class, and the school was placed in lockdown, according to court records. Police searched several areas of the high school, but found no weapon, according to records.

An investigation determined that the person who called in the tip used a fake name and provided an address to an area business. Police said no one by that name worked at the company.

During interviews with police, the teen and family members allegedly identified Rodriguez as the voice on the 911 call. Rodriguez allegedly admitted during an interview last week that he and an unidentified man made up the story about the handgun and made the fake 911 call.

Court records do not indicate why he made up the story.

Authorities allege Rodriguez also assaulted his stepson three days before making the phony 911 call.

The victim called police on Feb. 19 to report that Rodriguez had punched him in the face. An investigator did observe swelling and redness under the juvenile’s eye. An arrest warrant for Rodriguez was issued on March 5.

Police charged Rodriguez with terroristic threats, risking catastrophe, disorderly conduct and harassment for the fake 911 call. He faces simple assault and harassment charges in connection to the second incident.

Rodriguez was released from Lehigh County Jail Monday after posting bail.

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