Lebanon

Chaotic 36 hours for Jonestown Elementary community

JONESTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) - Police have released the name of a man they arrested for entering Jonestown Elementary School with a gun, stealing a truck, and running over a borough employee Thursday afternoon.

Tyler Austin Weaber-Haag, 23, of Palmyra, was arraigned Friday morning on 23 counts, including 12 felonies.

The felony charges include two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of criminal trespass, burglary, attempted burglary, theft, receiving stolen property,  terroristic threats, fleeing and eluding, and firearms not to be carried without a license.

Weaber-Haag is in Lebanon County Prison. Bail was set at $1 million.

State police said Weaber-Haag entered the front doors of the school and went into the office around 3:18 p.m., as students were dismissing. When asked if he was there to pick up a student, Weaber-Haag reportedly told a secretary, “I’m here for myself.”

Weaber-Haag was told to leave the school but began running down a hallway toward children. He told a secretary chasing him, “You don’t want to do this.”

When a male parent became involved, Weaber-Haag told the parent the same thing, lifted his shirt to expose his waistband, then ran from the school, police said.

A responding trooper chased Weaber-Haag on foot through Jonestown Park. During the chase, the trooper slipped and fell. Weaber-Haag turned, pointed a pistol at the trooper and told him, “Don’t (expletive) chase me,” police said.

Weaber-Haag then ran to the Jonestown borough maintenance building where a borough employee had just backed a small dump truck into the garage. Weaber-Haag climbed into the unattended truck and ran over the employee as he drove out of the garage.

Troopers pursued Weaber-Haag in the stolen truck to the area of Greble and Swatara roads where spike strips had been placed and a PIT maneuver was used to end the chase.

A .38-caliber revolver was found on the roadway a short distance away, and Weaber-Haag had an empty holster when he was taken into custody.

The borough employee was taken to Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He told police he was trying to open a truck door to stop the theft when the truck accelerated, knocking him down. The truck ran over his left leg and arm with the rear tires. Police said he did not sustain any broken bones.

Police said Weaber-Haag was involved in a reported child luring incident earlier in the afternoon, in the 2300 block of Quarry Road. They said Weaber-Haag approached a student after he stepped off his bus and offered him a cell phone.

Weaber-Haag then followed the child and tried to enter his house, but the mother stopped him and called 911. Weaber-Haag ran off when the child’s mother came outside and yelled at him.

The trooper responding to the mother's 911 call was checking the area around Jonestown Elementary when police received the report of the school intruder, police said.

His odd behavior raises questions as to how Weaber-Haag obtained the gun.

"We still haven't been able to figure out where it came from, whose gun it was," said Tpr. David Beohm, a state police spokesman.

"You always hear about it somewhere else and you never think it could happen in your backyard. Well, it did," Northern Lebanon superintendent Erik Bentzel said.

Weaber-Haag's entry into the school has prompted a closer look at security.

"Everything is always under scrutiny and we're always looking to revise and improve," Bentzel said.


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