Krzystof Wasik, Hazle Township, arrested Wednesday after bomb threat outside White House.

Last updated: April 10. 2013 11:18PM - 3375 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com

Krzysztof Wasik's home in Hazle Township on Wednesday.
Krzysztof Wasik's home in Hazle Township on Wednesday.
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HAZLE TWP. — Visibly shaking and crying, Teresa Wasik said she was awakened early Wednesday morning by the U.S. Secret Service calling to inform her that her husband, Krzystof Wasik, was arrested after he allegedly made a bomb threat outside the White House.

Krzystof Wasik, 44, was taken into custody just after 4:30 a.m. after he approached a Secret Service officer at the White House gates and told the officer that a bomb would detonate in a truck that was parked in the 800 block of Vermont Avenue. There was no bomb, but the threat prompted an evacuation of the immediate area.

Later Wednesday, Teresa Wasik filed a protection-from-abuse petition in Luzerne County Court for herself and their 16-year-old daughter, describing a downward spiral that began when her husband stopped taking medication for mental illnesses.

Meanwhile, a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleges Wasik was upset about rules and regulations concerning semi-trucks and truck fines he had to pay.

According to the criminal complaint:

Wasik approached the north fence line at the White House at about 4:35 a.m. and asked a Secret Service officer if he could speak to the president.

The officer advised Wasik he would not be able to speak to the president, but Wasik could contact an agency that regulates traffic. The complaint said Wasik was escorted from the fence but returned at 4:46 a.m. and told the officer, “I know what it takes to get things done around here. I have a bomb in my truck parked 500 feet from here.”

Wasik told the officer he would not give up any information about the bomb or its location until he spoke with the president.

Authorities at 4:48 a.m. located a semi-cab tractor at the corner of Vermont and H Streets, N.W., about one-block away from the White House and parked in front of the Veterans Affairs Building.

A Secret Service officer relayed that he found keys in the ignition. Upon hearing the radio broadcast, Wasik allegedly said, “Don’t touch the keys in the ignition or else something bad will happen. I don’t care if children or veterans are harmed by the bomb. I only care about speaking to the president,” according to the complaint.

A Military Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team and the Washington, D.C., Fire Department searched the truck and declared at 6:25 a.m. that no explosives were found.

The Associated Press reported surrounding streets and the McPherson Square Metro rail station were shut down, and the Veterans Affairs Building was evacuated.

“This shut down significantly affected interstate commerce during the time it was in place,” the complaint says.

PFA petition

Teresa Wasik said she spoke with her husband on Tuesday and he seemed fine. He said he was going to Virginia for work. That evening, she was unable to get in touch with him. Wednesday morning, the Secret Service called Teresa Wasik and notified her of the incident at the White House.

Teresa Wasik previously filed a PFA against her husband. In her court petition, she said she was working at the Walmart in Pittston Township on Monday evening when she was told she had a visitor.

“It was my husband waiting for me. He said that he has our daughter in his truck and she was sick and needed to see me immediately,” she wrote in the petition. When she got to the truck, their daughter wasn’t there. That’s when, she said, her husband grabbed her and tried to push her into the truck, according to the petition.

“I wrestled to break free of his grasp,” she wrote.

Teresa Wasik said she asked her husband what he was doing, and he replied that he wanted to take her away for a few days to show her “we can … live without food.”

“I need to mention at this point that he was going through mental problems … (for) some time he is not taking his medications. He refuses to do so,” she wrote.

She then described calling the police and she was advised to change the locks of their home and file for a PFA. The PFA states Wasik drives a 2010 Dodge Caravan and had moved out of the couple’s home and was living out of the vehicle.

A hearing has been scheduled for April 18 at the Luzerne County Courthouse for a judge to consider the PFA. A temporary PFA has been put in place.

“He’s a great guy,” a sobbing Teresa Wasik told a reporter earlier Wednesday from inside the couple’s home on Goshen Avenue. “He just needs help.

“He is very well-liked by everybody. He just has issues when he stops taking his medication,” she said. “He is into the Bible and God. He’s a good citizen.”

Teresa Wasik said her husband has no anti-government tendencies and did not know why he was in Washington, D.C., which is about a four-hour drive from their home. She said they separated about two weeks ago but had stayed in touch.

Neighbors shocked

The Wasiks live in a quiet, Chapel Hill neighborhood in Hazle Township. Spacious homes are separated by large yards and patches of woods. Many of the homes, including the Wasiks, are equipped with burglar alarms as evident by home security signs in flower beds.

A few Chapel Hill homeowners expressed shock when they were told about the alleged bomb threat at the White House by their neighbor whom they call Kristopher.

“He threatened to blow up what?” said one female neighbor across from the Wasik home. “This is a quiet, residential neighborhood. Nothing happens up here.”

Another female neighbor said the Wasiks kept to themselves.

“Nothing surprises me in the city but up here, I’m shocked,” she said.

Leona Seginak who lives in Chapel Hill said she has a special bond with the Wasiks by speaking the same Polish language.

“My only thought is he did not take his medication,” Seginak said. ‘“I have nothing but good to say about their family. They have a wonderful family.”

Teresa Wasik said her home was not searched by authorities.

A check for court records only returned a traffic citation filed against Wasik by the Frackville Police Department in November 2011. He pleaded guilty to the citation and paid a $110 fine.

Wasik was charged with threatening and conveying false information concerning use of an explosive. He remains in federal custody.

Times Leader reporter Sheena Delazio contributed to this report.

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