MT. LEBANON, Pa. — A man was arrested in Mt. Lebanon Thursday night after police said he made threats on social media to “blow up” a state office building and get “gunned down by the police.”
According to our partners at TribLive.com, Kurt James Cofano, 32, of Whitehall, faces felony charges in connection with weapons of mass destruction and explosive devices.
Mt. Lebanon police said they were asked to be on the lookout for Cofano and his Mercedes-Benz through Whitehall police. Whitehall police initially issued a bulletin to be on the lookout for the man, who was “potentially armed and dangerous” and driving a white Mercedes sedan.
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Police originally said he may be armed with numerous firearms after making the threats on social media.
Investigators said Cofano also posted threats to the CIA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Mt. Lebanon police spotted his Mercedes on Washington Road near the intersection at Woodhaven Drive where he was taken into custody.
As Cofano was arrested, authorities said officers found numerous weapons in the car, along with “components used in the making of improvised explosive devices.” The Allegheny County Bomb Squad was called in to remove and secure those items. According to TribLive.com, investigators found more than 30 improvised bombs in his car along with homemade detonators and chemicals used to make explosives.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. issued a statement Friday afternoon concerning Thursday’s arrest in Mt. Lebanon:
"I have always had a very strong and productive relationship with the Allegheny County Chiefs of Police Association and the Western Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. For the past several years, that relationship has focused, in part, on improving the availability and use of technology for law enforcement, especially through body worn cameras, cruiser cameras and surveillance cameras located at major intersections and other public areas throughout western Pennsylvania.
The value of this collaboration was illustrated Thursday when police officers from Whitehall entered the license plate number of an extremely dangerous individual into the camera network. A short time later, police in Mt. Lebanon were alerted when the network recognized the license plate number and were able to effectuate an arrest quickly and without incident.
I have no doubt that the use of cameras and license plate recognition technology in this incident saved lives and property and I want to commend the police departments in Whitehall and Mt. Lebanon for their diligence and great work in helping to keep our community safe.”
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