WALSENBURG– The secretary and a physical education coach, both staff members at John Mall High School, received recognition from Huerfano County Emergency Dispatch Communication Director, Don Mercier, for their actions during a bomb threat that caused Peakview and John Mall to be evacuated on Tuesday April 27.
“The threat was carved into a bathroom wall in John Mall and when it was discovered we began evacuation of both schools as quickly as possible,” Pamela “Doc” Siders said.
A call was made to Huerfano County Emergency Dispatch around 11 am by Lorna Eddleman, the high school secretary.
The high school students were evacuated to the practice field east of the main school building while Eddleman stayed in the school office along with Principal “Doc” Siders. Eddleman stayed on the phone to dispatch operators throughout the event.
Siders went outside to the practice field where she approached two students and began speaking with them. The two students then bolted and ran in the direction of the Spanish Peaks Library.
“I had a feeling these two may have been involved with the threat, but our conversation had been about something completely different. But they just took off running,” Siders said.
She tossed her car keys to Physical Education teacher Mikel Glidden. Glidden took the car and went after the two.
“I followed the two students and watched them enter Spanish Peaks Library. The whole time I’m on my cell phone speaking with Doc, giving her a description of the two students and where they are.”
Siders had returned to the office and was relaying the information to Eddleman.
“I was on the phone to dispatch giving them the suspect information and where they were,” Eddleman said.
According to Glidden the students then left the library and walked towards the Masonic Cemetery where a sheriff’s deputy was able to stop and detain them.
The two students were taken into custody.
Authorities reported the bomb threat to the Colorado Information and Analysis Center, a part of the Department of Homeland Security in Colorado.
“CIAC will be looking into this event. It is part of procedure in the case of a bomb threat,” Mercier said.
Walsenburg Police are investigating and are withholding comment until the investigation is completed.
Both Eddleman and Glidden were presented with certificates of recognition on Wednesday, May 5, for their actions on April 27, and for what Mercier called, “performance above what is expected.”
No explosive device was found.
Authorities have not commented on adult involvement with the two juvenile suspects in the making of a bomb threat.