Navy Medic Sought in School Bomb Threat Turns Himself In

San Clemente High students left campus by 2 p.m. as deputies continued an "inch-by-inch" search for the bomb. Military police are now questioning the suspect.

San Clemente High School was evacuated Wednesday morning after a Navy corpsman from Camp Pendleton went missing and left writings indicating that he planned to bomb the campus.

Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said at 2 p.m. that the suspect, Daniel Morgan, 22, had turned himself in to authorities at the Marine base. Amormino said bomb technicians wrapped up their search of the campus about 4 p.m. and that no explosives were found.

First Lt. Eric Flanagan, a spokesman at the Marine base, said Morgan is now being questioned by military police.

Flanagan said the Navy medic had not been charged with any crime, and that the Marines would not release whether they had determined a motive for the threatening writing among Morgan's personal belongings.

"Nothing like that is releasable at this moment," Flanagan said.

Flanagan said it's standard procedure to hunt down service personnel who don't show up for duty.

"If we find out a Marine is missing, we're going to do our best to find out where that person is," Flanagan said. In the course of the routine search of Morgan's belongings, military personnel came across the threat.

Flanagan said MPs and the Orange County Sheriff's Department are sorting out whether the military or civil authorities will handle any charges that might be brought against Morgan.

Amormino said the threat today was no prank.

"Sometimes on the first day of school or during exams, you get prank calls," Amormino said. "This is not that. It's coming from someone in the military who may have access to explosive devices."

All the students were off campus as of 2 p.m. Amormino said bomb technicians had split up into teams, along with FBI agents, to continue searching the building.

School and sheriff's officials said the 3,200 students and 180 staff members were evacuated from the buildings to the football field as deputies conducted an "inch-by-inch" search.

Amormino said Morgan went absent without leave from Camp Pendleton; he didn't show up for his job at 8:45 this morning.

Three Students Overcome by the Heat

Capistrano Unified School District spokesman Marcus Walton said early in the day that students and staff were safe and being provided with water and shade—they were moved from the athletic fields to the gym after bomb technicians deemed that building was safe.

At about 1 p.m., Walton said 2,000 additional bottles of water were brought in from the district office for students because of the heat. Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone said about 40 firefighters and paramedics were on the scene to assist the bomb squad respond to any possible fires and to help monitor the health of the students in the heat.

Stone said three students had to be treated in heat-related incidents, but all were released to their parents without serious injury.

Jonah Arnone Crisher, 15, a sophomore inside the school, spoke to San Clemente Patch via cell phone about 11:45 a.m.

"Everyone was going to get books," Crisher said about the evacuation Wednesday morning. "The principal told us one thing, and then he said, 'We're going to need to go out to the football field.' We thought it was, like, a scheduled thing—we were wondering why all the cops and dogs were around."

He said the students were organized into groups by homeroom. It was fourth period when Crisher spoke to Patch.

"Maybe it's going to take all day," he said. "There are four helicopters here right now. It's pretty crazy."

Some parents at the scene, in touch with their children by cell phone, were frustrated that the students were still on campus.

"It's very scary, and it's something you don't take lightly," said Kari Kobayashi, one of several parents waiting outside the police tape as deputies searched the school. "I just want to take my kid home. We have to hope they're doing the right thing."

Kobayashi said the school notified her of the bomb threat this morning via phone and email.

Wednesday was the first day of school in the Capistrano Unified School District.

Shane Muysenberg September 07, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Glad you are okay Aly, and all the students made it out safe.
susan reynolds September 07, 2011 at 09:36 PM
Extremely impressed with how this was handled. SCHS and authorities need to be commended.There is a special needs class on campus and these kids were so well taken care , comforted and given extra TLC. I know I am a mom to one of them! Great job.
Navy doc September 07, 2011 at 09:46 PM
It is unfortunate that this individual has now cast a dark shadow over the heroic feats corpsman are known for. I'm glad everyone is safe.
Dan Krolczyk September 07, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Glad everyone is safe, and it sounds like the school district and authorities reacted swiftly together. Nice coverage, Adam.
David Pereira September 07, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Thats not true Navy doc. Speaking as Marine veteran, we love and respect you guys and this nutcase would never diminish the bravery you guys display. One bad apple does NOT ruin the bunch Sir. Please don't feel that way, you're a hero and everyone knows it. Ooh rah Squid
Adam Townsend September 07, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Thanks, Dan. I was starting to miss covering breaking news. I covered north OC for the Register for four years, and it's definitely a little slower down here.
JAY BELLAMY September 07, 2011 at 10:35 PM
Kim Shearon September 07, 2011 at 10:38 PM
That is one person, as a 2 Blue Star Mother of Marines(both formerally stationed at Pendelton) I appreciate the work and heroism of every Navy Corpsman. I am glad the kids and faculty at the campus were all unharmed. God Bless!
Christopher Boprie September 07, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Fear is often our own worst enemy. A navy corpsman is a medical technician specializing in giving care to people. It is doubtful that Daniel Morgan had the knowledge to carry out any ordinance. His military job doesnt train for that. He did embarass his outfit and should be held accountable. Somehow a lady has to be involved in this equation which leaves room for more questions. On the whole its guys like Morgan that make veterans continue to suffer everywhere and its prompting the overreacting neandethrals to better fuel a misfit ideology of all armed forces personel to the point that even military cooks can brew explosive coffee for example. Guys like Morgan allow institutions to throw vets under the bus who seek higher education down the road. Liasons are needed to seperate the bacteria from the principle. Thinking of higher education. Consult your local Veteran Organization and stay on track.
Joe Schmitt September 07, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Well, as a Hospital Corpsman myself I can say the following... Yes, I have extensive medical training, but I also have extensive training and experience w/ small arms, crew serve weapons, room clearing and breaching, explosives, comms, I'm also a qualed Tactical Combat Craft Coxswain w/ weapons release authority and that is just some of it. So really I would not so much commit to the lack of training due to his rate. I do agree that the LE and news agencies blow these things way out of context and now I have to deal w/ stupid comments directed at my guys as well as myself. This makes HM's look bad and makes all of us embarassed of his actions. Like I tell my HM's all the good can be washed away by one bad, think before you do and 5 seconds of stupid can make for a life time of regret. Also, I also agree people need to think before they say, you can never take the words back.
Joe Schmitt September 07, 2011 at 11:20 PM
I also hope that Morgan gets dealt w/ on both side, no catch 22 w/ the military. I hope the book gets thrown at him by the Navy and the local LE.
JOE September 07, 2011 at 11:42 PM
This Jughead needs to spend the winter at Pickle Meadows and reflect on His stupidity.
Stephie September 08, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Glad to see SC took it seriosly...now a days u truly never know.
Ginger Modiri September 08, 2011 at 12:13 AM
Very Distrubing, for our young people (and others) to experience this sort of trauma on any given day, & "so close to 9-11". I would encourage CUSD,to allow and encourage discussion of these events in classrooms, with an emphasis on how one persons "bad" decisions effect "all" of earth's inhabitants. - NANA
sc September 08, 2011 at 12:16 AM
AOL? - Police dispatched at a cost? - Evacuating an entire school at a cost? 2 hours on alert by how many at a cost? Threats of bombing classified as being terroristic at a cost? (and so much more) And still trying to decide whether he will be charged? Marine or not this is serious with many charges. If Joe Blow going down for years and psyche evaluation for sure.
sc September 08, 2011 at 12:17 AM
AWOL sorry
sc September 08, 2011 at 12:19 AM
can we say PSYCHE WARD chris
tamiecc September 08, 2011 at 12:38 AM
Parents need to calm down! Schools have procedures in place for a reason. Just because you show up to the school wanting to take your kid doesn't mean you will. You're not special! Follow Emergency Procedures that are already in place. We told you when you called not to come to campus. Let the authorities do their jobs. These are High schoolers not pre schoolers.
Lindsey Hanson September 08, 2011 at 02:28 AM
Thank you! Every time I heard or read a parent freaking out because they could not just show up disrupt the investigation and get their kids I just cringed! Don;t you think the professionals have a better handle on a bomb threat that you Miss spastic drama-rama? I think it was handled beautifully! Nice work LE!
Lindsey Hanson September 08, 2011 at 02:29 AM
Paranoid much? This is not about being the boss. This is about some numb skull know it all disrupting an investigation.
sarah September 08, 2011 at 03:46 AM
ohmg! im so happy youre ohkay dustin croft! papaw told me about it! and i was so happy to hear your voice when he called!! it scared me cause i thought id never see my cousin anymore! not cool! well i love you and i hope you recover from the trama it might have caused you!! im prayin for you ! - Sarah Compere <3
Lindsey Hanson September 08, 2011 at 03:39 PM
No you just realized how insane you sounded.
Lindsey Hanson September 08, 2011 at 07:39 PM
way to stand behind what you believe in.
Jackie Connor September 08, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Great coverage, Adam! Glad everyone is safe!


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