Attacks on Grandview veteran, school threat linked

Updated: 2013-09-14T05:20:58Z


The Kansas City Star

A Grandview man who allegedly threatened to shoot up schools on Friday told police he was angry at the youths who twice attacked a disabled veteran in his home this week.

Mark A. Esterley, 55, was charged Friday with the felony of making a terrorist threat. His bond was set at $100,000.

Also Friday, a 14-year-old boy was charged in the Sunday attack and robbery of the veteran in his home in the 11900 block of Belmont Avenue.

Home security video clearly showed several youths or young men at the man’s home on Sunday evening and Tuesday afternoon. Police think many of the youths were involved in both incidents, in which they took guns and ammunition. The 85-year-old veteran was struck on the head when he resisted during Sunday’s attack.

According to court documents, someone called Grandview police about 8 a.m. Friday and threatened to shoot an unspecified school. The man said he was tired of all the trouble from kids.

“You better have more police at the schools,” the man allegedly said.

Grandview school officials placed all their schools on lockdown for about two hours in response to the threat.

Police traced the call and obtained customer information from T-Mobile. When officers went to the customer’s home, court documents said, Esterley drove up and allegedly said: “I made the phone call. I know I shouldn’t have, but I did it.

“What those kids did to that vet was wrong, and they need to be caught,” Esterley said, according to police.

Police searched his home with his consent and found a .22-caliber rifle in Esterley’s bedroom.

Esterley acknowledged using a racial epithet during the phone call to police but denied remembering that he threatened to shoot anyone. He said he just wanted police to catch the attackers.

Police received several tips after releasing the video of the suspects in the attack on the veteran, and on Friday the juvenile was charged in Jackson County Family Court with second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and two counts of armed criminal action.

Police continue to seek other suspects. They are looking for a red Chevrolet Impala and a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser with tinted windows. To contribute information, call the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (474-8477).

To reach Matt Campbell call 816-234-4902 or send email to mcampbell@kcstar.com.

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