FIRST ON WITN: Custodian Denies Threatening To Blow Up Pitt County School


A Pitt County Schools employee, who was supposed to retire next month, says he did not threaten to blow up his school as deputies allege.

Johnnie Cox, the head custodian at Ayden Elementary School, has been charged with making a false report of mass violence on education property.

Deputies say Cox threatened to blow up the school on Tuesday.

School system spokesman Brock Letchworth says once they found out about the comments on Wednesday they contacted law enforcement.

Additional deputies were stationed on Thursday and Friday as a precaution. The 61-year-old Cox was suspended Thursday and arrested this morning.

Cox bonded out of jail at mid-afternoon and was greeted by two of his daughters and two grandchildren.

Cox told WITN he never threatened anyone. "I didn't say I was going to blow up no school. It's just bad, why would I want to blow up a school because I getting ready to retire in what, 20 some days? I love kids, I've got kids that go to school and stuff. It's just something that's been blown out of proportion."

The school system says Cox has been with the school system since 1992 and was promoted to head custodian in 1997. His record shows no previous disciplinary actions.

The man will be in court Monday morning for his first court appearance.


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