'Leaking' photo triggered investigation into Greece bomb plot

January 25, 2019 07:54 PM

GREECE N.Y. (WHEC) -- Why did Greece schools and Greece Police act so quickly on the alleged bomb plot?

It's because of the training they received just two weeks earlier. 


Greece Police and schools got the training the FBI in western New York has been using for years.

It's called behavioral threat assessment.

News10NBC wants you to remember the word 'leakage' because when police say the 16-year-old suspect showed a picture to students last Friday and said it looks like the next school shooter, that's leakage. 

And the training told the school and police that was a signal. 

Mark Concordia and Joe Testani lead the training. They served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force for western New York.

They're with the Justice and Security Institute at Roberts Wesleyan College. 

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "In the news conference, the (Greece) chief of police said, 'when you do a threat assessment, they refer to a term called leakage, where the people leak parts of a plot.' What is leakage?

Mark Concordia, Justice & Security Institute, Roberts Wesleyan College: "So leakage has been identified through the threat assessment as a significant proximal warning behavior."

Concordia says it's when people intentionally show their plan through videos, posts, and pictures. 

Brean: "So when this 16 year old showed the picture to a couple of classmates and asked 'does this look like a school shooter?', that was leakage?" 

Concordia: "Yeah, that could be considered leakage."

Students told teachers about the picture.

It got to the desk of Steve Chatterton, head of security at Greece schools.

He says he sometimes deals with several threats every month and almost all are harmless. But when he interviewed students this time, his training said something was different. 

"The typical interview is 'I made a mistake. It was stupid,'" he said. "This one, I can just say, took a different turn based on what they were telling us and who was involved."

By late Friday night, four young men were arrested, including the 16-year-old Greece Odyssey student who police say leaked the picture, Vincent Vetromile, a 19-year-old expelled from Greece schools three years ago, Andrew Crysel from East Rochester and Brian Colaneri from Gates. 

Brean: "Is the goal to have this in every school district?"

Joe Testani, FBI (Ret.) Justice & Security Institute, Roberts Wesleyan College: "That would be our goal. Yeah. We want everybody to understand this and then hopefully apply it and then we can have more success like this where we were able to prevent any of these acts."

Concordia and Testani have done this threat assessment training for schools and police in Greece, Fairport, Spencerport and Canandaigua.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office did it too. 

Think about this.

Concordia says more than 80 percent of school shooters in this country leaked something about their plan before they did it. 

He said sometimes they leak it so they get caught and sometimes they leak it because they're so excited about the plot they want to share it. 


Berkeley Brean

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