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Pitt Bomb Threats Phoned In By Nervous Grad Teacher: Police

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PITT BOMB THREAT
Students and faculty line up with visitors to get through a security checkpoint to enter the Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 in Pittsburgh. Dozens of bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh over the past two months, including at least four on Monday, April 9, have students on edge, and the school has set up security checkpoints at building entrances and even offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. (AP Photo/Keit | AP

PITTSBURGH -- A University of Pittsburgh grad student who was nervous about her ability to teach a class instead made two bomb threats so it would be canceled, campus police said.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Nancy Bruni, 34, of New Kensington, who didn't immediately return a call seeking comment on charges of terroristic threats, and threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Pitt police charged the School of Arts & Science grad student earlier this week with phoning in a threat, and then leaving a note about a bomb in a campus restroom on March 20, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.

Police eventually traced the call to her phone and confronted Bruni last week, when she allegedly confessed to making both threats.

Bruni told police she suffers from anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder and had stopped taking her medications because her health insurance had recently ended. That anxiety led her to search for a way to cancel the class scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., police said in a criminal complaint.

Bruni was angry when campus police didn't alert students after the phone threat, so she left the note saying "Two bombs will be detonated in Posvar hall on March 20th 6:30 p.m. 730," the complaint said. The note corresponded to the 5 p.m. call that referenced bombs going off at 6:30 and 7:30 that evening, police said.

When students found the note, two notified Bruni while one called campus police. When the school again didn't alert students to evacuate, Bruni's students became upset and she used that as an excuse to cancel the "Health and Illness" class herself, police said.

Pitt spokesman John Fedele said police searched the building with a bomb-sniffing dog and explosive detectors, but didn't alert students because the threats were deemed "lower level."

Bruni wasn't arrested, but is being mailed a court summons to appear for a June 12 preliminary hearing.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com

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