Thursday, August 10, 2023

UPDATE: Pottsville Man Charged After Making Threats that Prompted Large Police Response

POTTSVILLE - A Pottsville man remains locked up in Schuylkill County Prison after threats he made prompted a large police response on Tuesday.

According to Pottsville Police, on Tuesday, around 10:00am, Detective Joseph Krammes and Captain Becker went to the home of John Liptok Sr, in the 1800 Block of West Norwegian Street to take him into custody on a bench warrant.

Liptok did not answer the door when officers responded.

That afternoon, Pottsville Police were then notified that Liptok called from his home land line around 2:30pm to the Schuylkill County Courthouse judges chamber and made comments about him not showing up for his sentencing and stated that he was willing to die for his rights.

Around 3:30pm, the officers returned to Liptok's home and again, he did not answer.

Around 4:15pm, Liptok exited his side kitchen door exit and began speaking to officers present. 

Liptok was holding what appeared to be a dark in color grenade. Liptok stated, "You know what this is, if you come in my house it’s going to go off." Liptok then appeared to pull the pin area of the grenade and went back into his residence.

Liptok then contacted an officer on scene via cell phone from his landline and stated that he was sending his son out and he had the pin already pulled on the grenade and he was going to turn the gas on in his house.

Liptok's son, then exited the house saying he was scared of his dad and did not want to be in the house, Nicholas stated that he was not sure about the grenades but knew of his dad to have firearms.

Based on the observations of the officers on scene, and the statements made by Liptok, the 1800 block of West Norwegian St. was evacuated and additional resources have been summoned to the scene including Pennsylvania State Police SERT, the FBI, the Pottsville Fire Department, Pottsville EMS, and the Minersville Police Department who assisted our department with handling service calls.

After an extended and methodical search of Liptok’s residence, and a neighboring residence, it was determined Liptok managed to exit the property during the early stages of the incident.

During the early morning hours of Wednesday August 9, 2023, members of the Pottsville Bureau of Police were alerted by a civilian that there was a suspicious male on Hillside Road near the Calvary Cemetery. The male was identified as Liptok and was taken into custody.

On Wednesday afternoon, Liptok was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge James Reiley on charges of unlawful possession of weapons of mass destruction, making bomb threats, terroristic threats that cause an evacuation of a building, and terroristic threats that cause a serious public inconvenience.

Liptok remains locked up in Schuylkill County Prison after Judge Reiley denied bail on the charges above.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 28th, 2023 in Pottsville.