Armed Missouri man threatens coach at son’s basketball game, charged with terrorism, police say
BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3/Gray News) - A 35-year-old Missouri man is facing a felony terrorism charge after being accused of threatening one of the coaches on his son’s basketball team.
The incident happened during a tournament at Bolivar High School in Bolivar, Missouri, on January 27. It was a match-up between a pair of area junior varsity teams, KY3 reports.
Bolivar police were called to the gym around 7:40 p.m. on a disturbance call after 35-year-old Bryan Scott Pellham allegedly got upset with one of the coaches for the Marion C. Early team from Morrisville, Missouri, that his son plays on.
“From our interview, he was upset that a varsity coach was coaching the junior varsity team,” said Lt. Roger Barron, the Bolivar Police investigating officer. “He made the comment after engaging in an argument with the coach that he threatened to kill him. It was something to the effect of ‘I’ll put a red dot on your head and watch the mist appear.’”
Barron said Pellham later admitted that he made that statement and that the coach reported Pellham saying that he knew where the coach lived.
“When he was later apprehended that same night by deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office he was found to be in possession of a gun,” Barron said. “In a later interview with the suspect, he admitted that he did have the gun while he was at the high school.”
The second-degree felony terrorist threat charges carry a one to four-year jail term and a possible $10,000 fine if convicted. Barron said there is the possibility of follow-up charges involving the unlawful use of a weapon.
Pellham was released from the Polk County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
“I don’t know that he’d necessarily be a continuing threat to the community at this point,” Barron said. “But you just can never tell anymore.”
You can’t tell anymore because it does seem that the world around us is getting more volatile these days.
“It is a less considerate world,” Barron agreed. “Patience isn’t what it used to be. Kindness just isn’t there. Not everyone is that way but you see it more. And there never is a point where you threaten physical violence to any coach, player, or referee. It’s still a game and we should be teaching our kids good sportsmanship and good citizenship.”
Morrisville’s Marion C. Early School District Superintendent Josh Angel issued the following statement:
“We are aware of the incident and take all threats of this nature seriously. Student and staff safety continues to be our top priority. Teachers and coaches work extremely hard to make sure all students are successful on and off the floor. This incident is unfortunate and unacceptable.”
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