A teenager who police said brought a fully loaded replica revolver to Jim Thorpe Area High School is back in Philadelphia while he awaits court action.
Sabir Duncan Johnson, 18, who lived in a ChildFirst Services Inc. group home in Albrightsville when he brought the gun to school on Nov. 27, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe reduced Johnson's bail to $100,000 unsecured, from $100,000 cash, and allowed Johnson to return to Philadelphia, where he has family and will be supervised by the city's Department of Human Services.
He was permitted to return to Philadelphia under DHS supervision because ChildFirst holds clients' spots for only three days; Johnson had been in prison for 15 days, so he could not return to the group home.
Johnson has been in Carbon County prison since his arrest Nov. 27 on charges of possession of a weapon on school property and three counts of persistent disorderly conduct.
He was brought to Lewis' office in prison garb, wearing shackles and cuffs, by Jim Thorpe Police Chief Joseph Schatz and Det. Lee Marzen. Assistant District Attorney Sarah Modrick is prosecuting the case. Johnson is represented by court-appointed attorney Adam Weaver.
Jim Thorpe Area School District Superintendent Barbara Conway and high school Principal Tom Lesisko arrived for the hearing, and waited while police, Weaver, Modrick and Lewis conferred.
Police have said Johnson brought the gun to school in his backpack. He showed it to a couple of classmates, who alerted staff.
Johnson then hid the gun in a folder under a desk when the school was locked down, police said. He initially denied having the revolver, but police found the gun. They searched Johnson, finding a laser point aiming device in his pocket.
Police brought the gun, ammunition, and laser pointer in plastic evidence bags, with them on Wednesday.
The Ignite Black Ops brand revolver is dark gray metal, with a 13-inch barrel, weighs about two-and-a-half pounds, and has the heft and appearance of a real firearm. It has a warning label: "This is not a toy. Misuse or careless use may result in serious injury (especially to the eye) or death ... This high-powered air gun is recommended for adult use only."
Commonly known as an air gun, Johnson's revolver did not bear the orange tip that would distinguish it from a real firearm. It was loaded with six metal bullet shells, each about two inches long. Steel BBs can be loaded into the plastic tips of the shells. The shells are propelled by a canister of Co2 which fits into the gun's grip.
Because Johnson waived his hearing, no information emerged as to how he came to have the gun.
ChildFirst Services Inc., based in Bethlehem, provides group homes, supervised independent living arrangements, and foster care for children who are referred by Children and Youth Service agencies and juvenile probation offices.
It remains unclear why Johnson was under the agency's supervision. A woman who answered the telephone at the agency on Dec. 2 declined to comment, and no one answered the door at the agency's building on Route 903.