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Suspect in terroristic threat case videoed purchasing phone at Bay City store

By adriana_acosta
Jan. 28, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 27, 2011 at 7:28 p.m.

Paul May

FOR MORE INFOTo read the arrest affidavit go to www.vicad.com and click on this story.

BAY CITY - Kay Thiemer remembers Paul Nolen May as a friendly man and was shocked to learn he was charged with making terroristic threats against school children.

An assistant coach with the Bay City Babe Ruth Baseball League, May was always helpful and involved with the community, she said.

"He was friendly, nice and always willing to help everyone when needed," she said.

But on Thursday, as news of May's arrest on charges of making terroristic threats against Bay City school students and teachers spread through the city, Thiemer was shocked by the news.

"I just don't understand what happened," she said. "Sometimes one little thing can set someone off."

Thiemer said it is tough knowing that he was working in the school system and making threats to children he taught.

He was a good substitute teacher and kids enjoyed him in class, she said.

May, 41, was a substitute teacher in the school district since 2008.

A break in the case

A police affidavit used to obtain an arrest warrant for May outlined how police were able to track him down.

The affidavit, made by Bay City Police Lt. Robert Lister, stated that on Wednesday the police department began receiving 911 calls around noon from various businesses and residents who had received terroristic threats directed at the school district.

The person making the phone calls stated if the deadline of Feb. 1 was not met to follow his rules, schoolchildren would die.

The caller also said, " I am in school, tell the police; look out I'm in one of your schools. I am in your school, and one of your children is going to die. You must tell your children to follow the rules or they will die," according to the affidavit.

Although the phone number was shown as blocked when the calls were made, officers were able to get a phone number from an answering service for an apartment complex called.

From there, officers were able to track the number and when and where the phone was purchased.

A person identified as May purchased a phone from Walmart on Tuesday and activated the phone the same day, according to the affidavit.

Police officers were able to obtain video surveillance from the store where May was seen purchasing the phone with cash.

"His voice sounded like he was talking in a megaphone," said Allen Green, owner of Green Brothers Jewelry store, which received a threatening call.

"This is a phone call that you are not expecting to get," he said. "We were very startled."

Green said he feels bad for May's children.

"If you have a problem with the school district, there are other ways to handle it," he said.

The affidavit also said that May has a hunting lease near the Riverside Park. On Jan. 11, a letter threatening the school district's superintendent was found in the mailbox at the city park.

The neighborhood

A piece of wooden plywood covers the entrance of the house May and his wife have own since 2007, in the 1200 block of Sixth Street.

Neighbors were apprehensive about talking of their neighbor, who is facing 12 counts of terroristic threats and is now in the Matagorda County Jail. His bail is set at $240,000.

One neighbor, who asked not to be named, said she was frightened when she heard the loud noise and saw the commotion coming from her neighbor's home.

"I saw police cars surround his house and break down the front door," she said. "I was afraid because I thought something had happened to the family."

She said the family kept to themselves.

"It is a little unsettling knowing that he could have made those calls and threatening those children," she said.

May has two children who attend Bay City High School.

The school district would not confirm if May's children attended school on Friday.

On May's Facebook page, he describes himself as a self-employed, time-traveling space monkey. He is originally from Camden, Ark. and attended Southern Arkansas University and graduated from Fairview High School in Camden in 1988.

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