Willistown Police have filed charges against a West Chester man for allegedly leaving a pile of electronics and threatening notes at a former military site off Delchester Road, and calling in an anonymous tip about a suspicious device.
According to court documents, Stephen Foery, 36, called police on Feb. 23 to report a suspicious package at the former Nike missile site in southern Willistown. The site was deactivated decades ago.
A press release from Willistown Police explains that multiple agencies were involved in the investigation:
Upon arrival, police located two stacked electronic devices, in front of the locked gate of the property. On the top of the devices in a clear plastic cover, a handwritten note read, “DO NOT REMOVE THIS D PLATOMIC POUCH UNDER PENELTY OF FORCE.”
Willistown Police secured the immediate area and requested assistance from the Delaware County District Attorney, Criminal Investigations Division (CID), Ordinance Disposal Unit (Bomb Squad) to assist in determining the immediate threat of the device.
A bomb squad robot was deployed and authorities determined the device was not an explosive.
A second, handwritten note was found inside the plastic folder, according to court records. The note stated: "I have placed this letter and enclosed equipment as per our agreement that nobody on the ground herein be burned and/or shot or otherwise intentionally killed for the use of the land, buildings, and platform."
Willistown Police began working with the FBI to investigate the origin of the device and identify potential suspects. Foery was arrested after a patrol officer found him inside a parked vehicle at the site at 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 26. He allegedly told the officer that the officer was "looking for him," and later admitted leaving the device and calling in the tip, providing a description of items police had found at the site as corroboration.
Foery is charged with false alarms to agencies of public safety, a first-degree misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, a third-degree misdemeanor. Because the charges are misdemeanors, they were handled via summons. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 18 before Judge Chester Darlington at District Court 15-2-05.