Nathan Planell

Nathan Planell booking mugshot. Saturday, April 28, 2018.

An arrest was made Friday in a case of an individual allegedly tampering with radio frequencies used by Cambria County emergency personnel.

Nathan Planell, 21, of the 200 block of Pine Road, Hastings Borough, was taken into custody late Friday night by county detectives, according to a statement from Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan. Planell is charged with making false alarms to agencies of public safety and two counts of making false reports to law enforcement authorities.

“Planell programmed a handheld radio to the frequency used by Cambria County’s Department of Emergency Services and made several false reports of traffic stops and registration checks within the area,” according to the statement from the DA’s office.

“He also used the same radio to call out several emergency codes within Cambria County Prison.

“Subsequently, the Cambria County Prison initiated a complete lockdown of all inmates. The alleged radio was seized by detectives pursuant to the search.”

The arrest “was made possible by a collaborative effort between county detectives, the warden and the staff of the Cambria County Prison, management and staff of Cambria County’s Department of Emergency Services, as well as tips from the public,” Callihan explained in the press release.

There were 35 bogus transmissions on Thursday and Friday, according to Robbin Melnyk, the Department of Emergency Services deputy director and 911 coordinator.

Planell is being held in Cambria County Prison on a probation violation.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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