Yale University was shut down last November after a phone call tip claimed the campus was threatened by a gunman, and police have now arrested the man allegedly responsible for the hoax, Jeffery Jones.
NBC Connecticut reported
that Jones, 50, of Westbrook, has been charged with attempt to commit criminal mischief in the first degree and breach of the peace in the second degree by New Haven police. He is being held on a $250,000 bond.
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Jones is accused of making the hoax call from a payphone roughly a mile from campus on November 25, at which time security camera footage recorded the perpetrator's distinctive gait.
The 911 call reported a gunman en route to campus to shoot people. Police took the call seriously, and promptly shut everything down for six hours while they searched buildings and dorm rooms. Classes were not in session at the time, and no one was injured. The New Haven Register reported
that the incident cost the police department $30,000 in overtime pay.
On December 6, police spotted a man who fit the description of the security camera footage, which turned out to be Jones. After being questioned by police, he said he had a leg injury and needed immediate medical attention. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he allegedly became aggressive and yelled, "All those kids died in Newtown. You’re not doing (expletive) about that."
The Yale threat was phoned in on the same day the report was released on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
Jones eventually provided a voice sample to police on February 21, at which time he allegedly tried to disguise his voice. Police finally obtained a true sample, which matched the voice of the hoax call.
Between the December questioning and the February voice sampling, Jones was arrested on January 9 in a separate incident when he was spotted allegedly throwing nails under police cars.
Long before that, detectives also discovered Jones has an arrest history tied to New Orleans, where in two separate 2006 incidents he admitted to pouring gasoline and other toxic substances on the floor of the local police department elevator.
Assistant Chief Archie Generoso told reporters that, "This individual was a menace to this city and has been for a while."
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