University of Pittsburgh police Wednesday arrested a man at Pittsburgh International Airport and charged him in connection with alleged email threats involving several current and retired university professors.
Campus police officers assisted by Allegheny County police executed an arrest warrant on Mark Lee Krangle, 65, of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., Pitt spokesman John Fedele confirmed Wednesday night. Mr. Krangle is charged with one count each of making terroristic threats and harassment by communication.
A two-sentence statement released by the university made no connection between the 1:30 p.m. arrest and the string of more than two dozen bomb threats at Pitt targeting upward of 50 buildings. The threats have left the campus of nearly 29,000 students on edge weeks before final exams.
However, a criminal complaint filed by police says Mr. Krangle in his email to the professors referenced both the bomb threats and last month's shooting at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. According to the complaint, Mr. Krangle said he believes he has met the individual behind the threats and believes they are being orchestrated to further Mr. Krangle's attempt to draw attention to his "story."
The complaint did not elaborate on what that story involves.
And the arrest itself did not end the string of bomb threats, with at least one new threat reported against two campus buildings late Wednesday night.
The criminal complaint says Mr. Krangle sent three emails between April 3 and Monday to several current and former Pitt professors. The first two emails were received by Thomas Kane, Donald Egolf, Jack Daniel and Attilio Favorini.
Mr. Krangle, in one email, provided a PDF copy of his 152-page, self-written book "Revolution or Extinction," which Mr. Krangle said references a cover-up in the Carter presidency, according to the complaint.
In the first email, Mr. Krangle said he planned to come to Pittsburgh "for as long as it takes to get his story covered by the local and national press," according to the criminal complaint.
In the second email, he told the recipients, "If you guys do not show me supportiveness in every possible way that your meager little academic fantasy world lives can muster, your graves will be defiled by enraged citizens in the future after your die (I hope natural deaths)," according to the complaint.
Mr. Krangle also told the recipients, "You are involved," without elaborating, and "Don't try to do anything that may involve Western Psych when I get to town. I am not violent or crazy and that's why Shick was put into play. Things would get much worse if you try to derail me. Support me or perish."
The criminal complaint did not identify the date or specifics about the third email or who the recipients were.
The email address referenced in the criminal complaint as the one used by Mr. Krangle is the same one from which a correspondence was sent Saturday to individuals connected to Pitt and to a Post-Gazette reporter.
In it, Mr. Krangle claimed to be a former Pitt graduate student and teaching fellow in arts and sciences and requested a meeting with Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. In that email, Mr. Krangle said he planned to come to Pittsburgh to "try and help explain and stop the threats against Pitt and the City of Pittsburgh." Pitt has declined to comment on that email or its claims.
Authorities said Mr. Krangle was taken off a plane when he was arrested. They would not say whether it was arriving or departing.
Molly Born contributed. Bill Schackner: email@example.com or 412-263-1977. First Published April 12, 2012 7:15 PM