The Washington man accused of
making a terroristic threat at Park University
in January remains in custody in the Platte County
Brett S. Tanis, who noted his 41st birthday while
in custody, has been unable to post a cash-only
bond of $7,500.
Tanis has entered a plea of not
guilty. A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 16
at 9 a.m.
According to court documents,
Tanis entered McKay Hall on a Thursday morning
in January on the Park University campus in Parkville.
He allegedly "burst in" the university
president's office, which was unoccupied at the
time, and slammed the door.
The administrative assistant for
the president reported that Tanis came out of
the office and she directed him to leave. Tanis
went back into the president's office and the
assistant pressed the panic alarm and went into
the hallway. Tanis then came into the hallway
and was advised that security had been called.
Park University Director of Public
Safety Pete Sturner made contact with Tanis and
told him to leave the university property but
Tanis refused. Sturner reported that Tanis made
statements regarding explosives and indicated
that he was at the university to test security.
Authorities allege Tanis also
entered the office of the College of Distant Learning
and made contact with Park University official
Dr. Brian Davis. Tanis told Davis that he had
driven to the university from the state of Washington
and was there to talk about security. Tanis allegedly
referred to the underground space at the college
as a "bunker" and stated "Anyone
with explosives could come right in there and
cause a problem.
Shortly after the incident, Parkville
Police Chief Bill Hudson told The Landmark what
We got called up to the
college (when) a strange fellow wandered in and
made himself at home in the presidents office.
He made strange comments that alarmed the people
there, Hudson said.
As he was being escorted out of
the building, the suspect made a comment to the
effect that there were explosives in his pickup
parked near the universitys administration
building, according to Hudson.
Police evacuated the school buildings.
The Kansas City Bomb Squad was called to the scene
and used its motorized robot to check out the
pickup truck. It was discovered the tarp over
the bed of the truck was attached with bungee
cords and ratchet straps, so it was necessary
for officers in bomb suits to get to the truck
to undo those attachments. Then the robot approached
the truck, which was a Ford Ranger, and pulled
off the tarp, Hudson explained.
There was nothing in there
but his personal belongings, Hudson said.
Hudson said the suspect made many
comments during his time at the college, most
of which were incoherent.
The college area remained a crime
scene throughout much of that day. Yellow crime
tape surrounded the area and nearby Hwy. 9 was
shut down for about five hours, Hudson said.
As a precaution, university officials
cancelled night classes that evening.