Man guilty of threats to hospital staff, causing lockdown

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — A Middletown man has been found guilty of threatening hospital staff and causing a lockdown of the facility for several hours.

Donald A. Burkhart Jr., 49, was convicted of felony and misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats regarding a Nov. 20, 2018, incident at UPMC Lititz.

The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said Burkhart made a series of threats around the time his wife was in labor at the hospital.

His comments to nurses and a doctor included claims that he was president of a biker gang that would “descend on this hospital and have their way.” He told one nurse he “already spent five years behind bars” and he “wasn’t going back,” authorities said.

He also demanded that his wife be allowed to smoke and that he be allowed to bring his dog into the hospital.

Staff testified at Burkhart’s trial that they feared for their safety and the entire hospital was locked down from evening until the following morning.

Burkhart will be sentenced in a couple of months. He is in Lancaster County Prison on $100,000 cash bail.

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