A bail hearing will be conducted on Friday, Oct. 11, for a Lincoln High building engineer who police said threatened to shoot “any cop that looks at me wrong.”
Robert McKenna has been in jail with bail set at $1 million ever since he was arrested on weapons charges Sept. 26. And he isn’t going anywhere even if he can post that bail because Municipal Court Judge Bradley K. Moss on Oct. 4 ordered McKenna held on a psychiatric detainer.
Defense attorneys on Oct. 4 had argued that their client needed a psychiatric evaluation and that all legal proceedings should stop until it was complete. Prosecutors had wanted to revoke McKenna’s bail to keep him in custody while his case makes its way through the courts.
McKenna had been taken into custody at the Ryan Avenue high school for mental evaluation on Sept. 20, police said. While police were at the high school, McKenna’s pickup was searched and weapons were found, police said. He was arrested on the weapons charges Sept. 26 upon his release from Friends Hospital. His bail was set and he has been in the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on State Road ever since.
Last week, police circulated an internal departmental report that McKenna, while making a call at the prison, had threatened to “put two in the face” of any cop that “looks at me wrong.”
The call had been monitored by police.
According to the internal report, McKenna said when he is released from jail, “If a cop even looks at me wrong, he’s getting two in the face. I’m going to pull out a f–– gun and shoot him right in the f–– face.” The Sept. 30 report from the Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit’s Prison Intelligence Group was widely circulated within the department.
Prosecutors wanted to play a recording of that phone call in court Friday.
A school district spokeswoman said police searched Lincoln on Sept. 20 because McKenna had access to most areas of the school. Police said no other weapons were found and that all the locks in the school were changed.
School spokeswoman Deirdre Darragh said the eight-hour school lockdown began immediately after weapons were found in McKenna’s pickup. The lockdown involved evacuating the school as well as searching it.
McKenna has been assigned to Lincoln since October 2007, according to Darragh.
McKenna was first hired as a custodial helper in August 1986 and was continually employed by the school district ever since, Darragh stated.
Joseph Blake, the Sheriff’s Department’s spokesman, said warrant unit deputies had gone to McKenna’s home on the 4300 block of Devereaux Ave. to execute a court-ordered eviction on Sept. 20. No one was home, and a locksmith was ordered to open the doors.
Blake said the deputies had obtained information that led them to contact police, who along with the warrant unit, went to Lincoln High. Blake said McKenna was taken into custody, turned over to police and subsequently committed to Friends Hospital.
McKenna is scheduled for a hearing Friday, Oct. 11, in Room 406 of the Criminal Justice Center, 13th and Filbert streets. ••