Man Accused of Threatening to ‘Shoot Up’ Jefferson County Business

PUNXSUTAWNEY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – Criminal charges have been filed against an area man who allegedly threatened to “shoot up” a business in Jefferson County last week.

Court documents indicate the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 61-year-old Thomas W Bish, of Smicksburg.

According to a criminal complaint, around 9:34 a.m. on July 27, Punxsutawney Borough Police were contacted by Punxsutawney-based State Police regarding a report of a man at a local business threatening to “shoot up the place.”

Punxsutawney Borough Police responded to the business and found that the suspect had already fled the area. Police then interviewed employees/victims in the business and were able to identify the suspect as Thomas Bish.

According to the complaint, the first victim reported she was working at her desk when Bish entered the business and requested information. The victim provided the information and Bish reportedly became agitated and demanded the victim call PennDOT. The victim told police she provided Bish with the paperwork he needed, and he responded by stating she had “signed his death sentence because he cannot afford the system and would starve to death.”

The victim reported Bish then stated loudly that he hoped he was being recorded because he was going to “shoot this place up.” He was then told to leave several times by all three employees at the business but reportedly refused to do so. The victim then told Bish she was calling 9-1-1 and he continued to stand in the waiting area. The victim then went to the waiting area and escorted Bish out of the front doors and locked them.

The complaint notes the victim told police that Bish paced around outside the building before returning to his car and sitting inside of it for several minutes before leaving.

The complaint also states the victim reported the employees were closing the business for the remainder of the day because they were afraid Bish was going to return and “do something to them.”

All of the surrounding businesses were also informed about what had occurred and were advised of the potential threat.

Bish was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock at 12:45 p.m. on July 28, on the following charges:

– Terroristic Threats With Intent To Terrorize Another, Misdemeanor 1 (three counts)
– Disorderly Conduct Engage In Fighting, Misdemeanor 3 (three counts)
– Defiant Trespass Actual Communication To
– Harassment – Subject Other to Physical Contact, Summary (three counts)

He remains free on $5,000.00 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. on August 12, with Judge Mizerock presiding.

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