Mount student expelled for tweet

CRESSON – A 19-year-old Mount Aloysius student was removed from campus after threatening a professor via Twitter.

Police said Anthony Will Briscoe, 19, of Aultman, Indiana County, threatened to slit the throat of one of his professors in front of her class. Briscoe made the threat via his publicly viewable account on Twitter.

Briscoe told officers the tweet was a joke and posted for “entertainment” purposes, police said.

Shortly before 8 a.m. on Feb. 12, Briscoe wrote “[name redacted] DO NOT GET [expletive] WITH ME OR I WILL SLIT YOUR THROAT IN FRONT OF THE CLASS,” police said.

That tweet has since been deleted from his account’s public timeline.

Briscoe was expelled from Mount Aloysius after the incident, police said.

“The College has zero tolerance for threats whether made electronically or otherwise,” said Jack Coyle, Mount Aloysius director of communications, in an email to the Mirror. “We feel that removing this individual from campus was the appropriate measure.”

About 21 hours after the tweet was posted, officers from Cresson Township, Cresson Borough and Mount Aloysius security contacted Briscoe and searched his dorm room for weapons, police said.

Briscoe was present but not under arrest during the search. No weapons were discovered, police said.

Following an interview with police and a school counselor, college officials expelled Briscoe from campus, police said.

During the interview, Briscoe said he was “bored” while sitting in the professor’s class when he decided to send the tweet, police said.

Briscoe told officers he sometimes writes similar tweets for “entertainment” purposes and that other students find them amusing.

The professor referenced in the initial tweet told officers she was “fearful and concerned for her safety” and decided to press charges against her former student.

Briscoe was charged Feb. 20 with making terroristic threats, harassment and disorderly conduct.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 11 before Magisterial District Judge Charity L. Nileski.