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Police Find Weapons In Bethel Park High School Employee's Possession During On-Campus Arrest

BETHEL PARK (KDKA) -- A Bethel Park School District employee was arrested Monday on the high school's campus.

In a statement, school district officials say the arrest was for an incident that occurred "prior to today, outside of the school setting;" however, while being taken into custody, police say they found two weapons.

Bethel Park Police identified the suspect as 43-year-old Bernard Switala, who was a former school security guard recently promoted to a school secretary position at the high school. Allegheny County Police had a warrant out for his arrest.

Police found him at his workstation. Here is what they found.

"Inside the bag was a .38 handgun. A subsequent search of his personal vehicle, which was parked in the parking lot of the school, revealed another .38 handgun," said Bethel Park Police Chief Timothy O'Connor.

District officials say Switala admitted to officers about having "a weapon in his possession and in his vehicle." That is a violation of Pennsylvania state law.

Switala was removed from campus. He is now also facing two counts of possession of a weapon on school property.

  • Click here to read the district's full statement on the matter.

The Allegheny County Police Department said Switala was also accused of threatening to kill two people on a motorcycle while brandishing a gun on April 28.

Police say the motorcyclists and his passenger reported someone driving erratically while texting. As the motorcyclist passed the driver, he told the driver to stop texting while driving, according to police, who said the driver "aggressively" tailgated the motorcyclist.

Law enforcement says the motorcyclist pulled into a parking lot on Corrigan Drive and was followed by the driver, who brandished a short-barreled revolver, pointed it at his glove box and made several threats to kill both of the motorcyclists.

Police identified the driver as Switala. He is facing two counts each of recklessly endangering another person, simple assault by physical menace and terroristic threats related to this incident.

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