FRANK WANG

Frank Wang

HAVERFORD — A 20-year-old Chester County man charged with terroristic threats for allegedly admitting to thoughts of killing his family and plotting to “shoot up” the Haverford College campus was released on 10 percent of $150,000 bail Thursday after waiving a preliminary hearing, according to defense attorney Robert Keller.

Frank Wang, of the first block of Elan Lane in the Wayne section of Tredyffrin Township, was arrested late last month as he exited a psychiatric hospital, Keller said.

Haverford Township Police Sergeant Christopher Chambers received information July 26 that Wang confided in another person that he thought about killing his parents and shooting up the college campus where he used to be a student, according to a release from Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland announcing Wang’s arrest July 31.

A search warrant was served at Wang’s residence, where authorities found no guns or other weapons. Investigators recovered a cell phone, computer and several flash drives, which were submitted to the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division Cyber Crimes Unit for forensic analysis.

“We take all threats to our schools very seriously and will prosecute those who threaten the safety of our schools to the fullest extent of the law,” said Copeland in the release. “We constantly work in cooperation with our schools and law enforcement to ensure we provide a safe and protected environment for our students, teachers, and administrators. As the result of the swift response of the community, and the exceptional investigative efforts of the Haverford Township Police Department and the Haverford College Public Safety Department, no one was harmed and Mr. Wang is now rightfully facing the severe consequences of his actions.”

Keller said Thursday that prior to his arrest, Wang was voluntarily committed to Bryn Mawr Hospital’s psychiatric unit, where he received medication and mental health treatment. During a session with a doctor there, Wang allegedly admitted to having prior thoughts of suicide, harming his parents and shooting up the college.

According to Keller, Wang never directly threatened to do any of those things. While mental health professionals do have a duty to warn law enforcement of a potential risk, Keller said he believes that threshold was not met here. He added that Wang was given a “low-risk” rating in a psychiatric report prior to his discharge and arrest.

Keller said those are arguments for another day, however, and that the important thing now is that Wang, a former honor student and National Merit Scholar, continues to receive the medication and mental health treatment he needs.

Magisterial District Judge Elisa C. Lacianca initially set bail at ten percent of $1 million with other conditions, including a risk assessment, which was reduced at Thursday’s hearing and paid immediately, according to Keller. Wang’s parents were also at the hearing and said in open court that they do not believe their son is a risk to them, Keller said.

Lacianca allowed Wang to return home with his parents under some additional bail conditions, said Keller, including electronic home monitoring and a stay-away order from the college. Keller said he and Senior Deputy District Attorney Daniel McDevitt agreed with the bail reduction and conditions.

“We just want to get him home so he will start his treatment, or continue his treatment, and hopefully the case will resolve at some time in the future,” said Keller.

Wang is scheduled for formal arraignment Sept. 4 at the county courthouse in Media.

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