Crime Watch

Mepham alum charged with threatening school


A Wellington C. Mepham High School alumnus was arrested last week and charged with threatening to shoot “everyone” at the school, police said.

Nassau County Police Department officials said that Peter Andersen, 28, of Bellmore, also known as Piotr Abdel-Fattah, was arrested on Friday, Jan. 4, after he allegedly made “a series of angry and alarming comments about Mepham High School,” Principal Michael Harrington said.

Harrington said that Andersen, who graduated from the school in 2002, randomly approached a current Mepham student at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Dec. 22, only eight days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn. In a release, police said the defendant made statements that he wanted “to shoot everyone in Mepham High School.” The principal became aware of Andersen’s comments on Thursday, Jan. 3, and immediately contacted police.

Andersen was arrested without incident at his Dewey Avenue home last Friday, detectives said. Harrington noted that law enforcement officials told him that Andersen had no access to weapons or ammunition, but he appeared to show signs of being emotionally disturbed. The principal added that Mepham officials took extra security precautions on Monday morning, with police assistance.

Harrington said that school officials had every expectation it would be a normal school day. “We will continue to work together to maintain a safe and secure learning environment for our students,” Harrington said.

Andersen’s bail was set for $30,000 bond or $15,000 cash. He was arraigned on Jan. 5 in First District Court in Hempstead.

Chris Munzing, a spokesman for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, said Andersen was charged with making a terroristic threat, a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Andersen’s attorney could not be reached for comment at press time.