WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — For the second time this week Wilkes University has increased security on campus as a bench warrant has been issued for a former student Wednesday after he allegedly violated his bail conditions.
A bail revocation hearing was held Wednesday afternoon for 22-year-old Max Liebetrau (pictured below), a former Wilkes University student who allegedly threatened two fellow students.
Eyewitness News reported Tuesday that Wilkes-Barre police, the FBI, and Wilkes University police were looking for Liebetrau for allegedly making threats against students.
“To sum it up, I’m really scared honestly. I may not have been directly threatened but I’m scared for my friends. I’m scared for my community. I’m scared for our future honestly,” stated Wilkes University student, Alivia Serkoski.
And Eyewitness News heard from many other Wilkes University students on Wednesday as well stressing the fact that they are scared.
Eyewitness News crews at the Luzerne County Courthouse Wednesday say Judge Joseph Sklarosky revoked Liebetrau’s bail and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
According to law enforcement, Liebetrau was released from the Luzerne County Prison when his bail was set at $100,000 unsecured at his preliminary hearing on Wednesday, April 12. Upon his release, Liebetrau was supposed to admit himself to an inpatient treatment facility, and he was to have no contact with any witnesses or alleged victims.
On Monday, Luzerne County District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce and Assistant District Attorney Carly Levandoski filed a petition to revoke Liebetrau’s bail because he allegedly sent a text message to a witness writing, “pass a message onto (victim’s name).” He also failed to check himself into the treatment facility.
Eyewitness News spoke to the female student who he allegedly asked to pass along the threat. The incident occurred inside the Dorothy Dickson Date Center, however, Eyewitness News is not identifying her due to safety concerns.
“I was at rehearsal and Max came in. He gave me a message that’s been all over the media. I mean that’s horrifying it was about one of my best friends when you hear that about one of your best friends what are you going to do? That’s why I contacted Wilkes University Police. He said with much more profanity, essentially, tell him to stay away or I’ll kill him. But, with more profanities in there,” the witness explained.
The petition from the DA and ADA says, “Due to the repeated contact with the witnesses and victim in this case, as well as concerns for the safety of Wilkes University students and the general public, as well as (Liebetrau), the Commonwealth respectfully request that this Honorable Court revoke (Liebetrau`s) bail.”
Wilkes University President Greg Cant said in a statement to the student body:
University leaders have spent the last several days considering ways that we can enhance safety while enabling the continuation of a full campus experience. As of 5:00 p.m. this evening, Wednesday, April 19, swipe access will be activated on all University buildings, requiring a Wilkes ID to gain access. It will extend through May 31, at which time we will evaluate the decision and determine next steps.”Wilkes University President Greg Cant
All academic and recreational spaces within the Simms Center will require swipe access, including the McHale Athletic Center, the stairwells, and first-floor academic spaces. The Henry Student Center and the Farley Library will also require swipe access to enter, Cant wrote in an email.
“We’re trying to figure out if Mr. Liebetrau does need help, as Attorney Levandoski says he’s making some very disturbing decisions and sending some very disturbing messages. We want to make sure he’s okay and that the Wilkes Community is safe,” D.A. Sanguedolce.
Increased security patrols across campus will continue for added peace of mind.