Thursday, August 9, 2012

NY man pleads guilty to harassing Pitt professors - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

A New York man who sent threatening emails to University of Pittsburgh professors during the height of a series of bomb threats on campus pleaded guilty to harassment Thursday and promised to continue treatment for his delusional disorder.

Mark Lee Krangle, 65, of Croton-on-Hudson, was arrested in April after Pitt police linked him to the emails, which referenced both the bomb threats and the March shooting at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Oakland, though investigators have said he is not associated with either.

At the time of Mr. Krangle's arrest, the university community was on edge after scores of bomb threats caused nightly evacuations at more than 50 buildings. FBI agents did not return calls seeking information on the status of that investigation.

Mr. Krangle was released from the Allegheny County Jail Thursday evening as part of the agreement made before District Judge Oscar Petite Jr., who asked him whether he planned to contact the professors again.

"I am committed to not communicating with these professors and giving up these political aspirations," Mr. Krangle told the judge.

In one of the emails, police said Mr. Krangle provided a PDF copy of his 152-page, self-written book "Revolution or Extinction," which he said references a cover-up in the Carter presidency.

In another, he told the recipients, "If you guys do not show me supportiveness in every possible way that your meager little academic fantasy world lives can muster, your graves will be defiled by enraged citizens in the future after you die (I hope natural deaths)," according to a criminal complaint.

Mr. Krangle said he planned to come to Pittsburgh "for as long as it takes to get his story covered by the local and national press," and warned a recipient, "Don't try to do anything that may involve Western Psych when I get to town. ... Things would get much worse if you try to derail me. Support me or perish."

Not long after his arrest at Pittsburgh International Airport, Mr. Krangle was sent to Torrance State Hospital, where he spent 45 days undergoing treatment for fixed delusional disorder, his attorney Jeffrey Weinberg said. Mr. Krangle has been taking anti-psychotic medications and will continue treatment from his home, he said.

"He didn't mean any harm to anyone," Mr. Weinberg said.

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