By Patrick Lynn
A judge has agreed to reduce the bond of a Plover teenager accused in a December bomb threat at SPASH.
Keenan J. Alderman, 17, pleaded not guilty on Jan. 21 on charges of making a terrorist threat, creating a bomb scare, and two counts of felonious bail-jumping for his role in the Dec. 18 bomb threat called into Stevens Point Area Senior High.
Alderman was being held on a $25,000 cash bond. On Wednesday, Judge Thomas Eagon agreed to lower that to a $2,500 cash bond with the condition he has no contact with SPASH and remain in his home with GPS monitoring. The change is a result of an attempt by judges to reduce the jail population in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing as many nonviolent officers as possible on home detention.
At Alderman’s preliminary hearing in January, Lt. Robert Kussow from the Stevens Point Police Dept. testified he was investigating another threat written in the girl’s bathroom when he was called to the principal’s office on Dec. 18 because a bomb threat had been called in.
Kussow said detectives learned that Alderman rode the bus to school on Dec. 18 but then left the grounds of Stevens Point Area Senior High School and walked to the nearby fast-food restaurant. From there, he called SPASH Principal Jon Vollendorf.
Alderman told Vollendorf, “If you don’t get the f— out the school bombs will blow off at 12…IEDs and a couple types of C4 [in the] boiler room. So you got 12 o’clock, if not, that’s bi— goes boom,” the complaint said.
To investigate, a Portage Co. detective sent a text message to the number feigning interest in purchasing drugs, and through that conversation learned the person on the other end was located at Burger King, 1617 Schofield Ave.
During the course of the investigation, a detective contacted the Marathon Co. Bomb Squad for possible assistance, before it was determined the bomb threat was a hoax.
Two plain-clothes police officers entered the restaurant and ordered a meal, and quickly observed three young men who appeared to be high school students sitting in a corner booth with a laptop. After identifying them as Alderman and two other juveniles, Alderman was arrested and taken to the Portage Co. Jail, while the other two boys were taken to SPASH to be interviewed by police. After being read their rights, both boys agreed to be interviewed.
One of the boys told police calling in the bomb threat “sounds like a decent idea at the time,” and was suggested by Alderman as a way to get out of school early, but later admitted he wasn’t thinking straight in his support of the idea.
The other boy said warned Alderman making the call was a bad idea and told him “not to do it,” insisting he had no involvement with making the threats.
When interviewed at the Portage Co. Jail, Alderman said he made the threat so “they would cancel school for everybody…they canceled school all the other times it happened,” but did not intend to scare or harm anyone.
During the interview, Alderman said he learned about C4 and IEDs by playing Call of Duty video games.
Alderman is currently on bond on two other felony cases, both for taking and driving a vehicle without consent. He’s also being charged with fleeing an officer and criminal damage to property in connection with those cases. He also has an open misdemeanor case of disorderly conduct.
Alderman returns to court on April 15.