West Receives Two Bomb Threats Within a Week, One Arrest Made


Photo by Ethan Parab

Glenbard West received two bomb threats, one on Thursday April 27 and another on Wednesday May 3, and evacuated to their off site evacuation site while law enforcement did a sweep of campus. One suspect is in police custody for the second incident, but the investigation remains ongoing for the first. 

On May 3, at 11:12 a.m., administrators were left a voicemail stating “West you have ten minutes to get out or a bomb will go off on the first, second and third floor.” At 11:43 a.m. the school received another call stating the same threat, but the caller added that the bomb would go off in fifteen minutes, according to a press release from the DuPage County State’s attorney office

In a message to West students, Dr. Monaghan said that “we believe this was likely a ‘swatting” call,’ designed to instill panic within our school, in an abundance of caution, we once again implemented our off site evacuation plan. Police and local law enforcement responded quickly to assist the school.” 

A seventeen year-old male West student suspected of causing Wednesday’s incident was arrested that same evening during a traffic stop in Glendale Heights, and has been charged with two counts of felony disorderly conduct. He appeared at his detention hearing on the morning of May 4 and Judge Joshua Dieden ordered that he be detained until at least his next court date on May 12, 2023. He is currently in custody at Kane County Juvenile Detention Center. 

Under Illinois law, disorderly conduct is when someone consciously behaves in an unreasonable way that alarms or disturbs another person or disturbs the peace, like making a false claim or a bomb threat. The minimum sentence for this Class 4 felony range from 1 to 3 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000.

Police Chief Philip Norton stated, “I am extremely pleased that our team was able to quickly identify the suspect. We are also very thankful for the assistance and support from State’s Attorney Bob Berlin and his Office.”

In a press release from the Glen Ellyn Police department reminds members of the public  “that a criminal complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendant’s guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial during which it is the State’s burden to prove his/her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

During the evacuations over 2,000 West students and staff flooded the streets on the way to the evacuation sites, the mass exodus stopped traffic on several roads along the way. 

The students who ended up arriving at the off site location were accounted for by their teachers. Then students were dismissed for the day and told to return to school the next day. Law enforcement gave the all clear a few hours later for both incidents.

Thursday’s threat was early in the morning and resulted in approximately 5 hours lost in the school day. Wednesday’s threats disrupted an AP exam and the remaining two and a half hours of the school day.  

Police are still investigating the first threat made on April 27, 2023, and anyone with information regarding either of these two events is asked to contact the Glen Ellyn Police Department at 630-469-1187.

The DuPage County’s State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said that “threats to bomb a school, as alleged in this case, are not harmless jokes or an excuse to blow off steam. They can have a terrifying impact on students, staff and the entire community and anyone suspected of making such a threat will be fully investigated and charged accordingly. I thank authorities at Glenbard West High School for contacting law enforcement as well as the Glen Ellyn Police Department for the quick identification and apprehension of the suspect in this case. I also thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Katherine Klosowski and Sara Henley for their work on this case and for their ongoing efforts to keep our schools as safe as possible.”