Northeast Times

Bail hearing set for jailed Lincoln High School building engineer

Robert McK­enna

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. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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