Raaz Patel, the 20-year-old St. John’s student linked to the bomb threat on campus from two weeks ago, is currently suspended from the University, according to Dominic Scianna, director of media relations.
Patel, a resident of Queens Village, was arrested on Friday, April 4, on charges of falsely reporting an incident, reckless endangerment, and aggravated harassment. If convicted, he could serve up to seven years in prison.
According to an April 4 article from the TimesLedger, the Queens district attorney’s office said that Patel did not have a criminal record in Queens prior to the bomb threat.
Scianna said that the Queens’ campus Department of Public Safety received an unidentified phone call at 9:59 a.m. on Thursday, April 3, warning that an unspecified building would be bombed the next day.
The first Public Safety advisory announcing the bomb threat was sent out via St. John’s Central at 4:30 p.m., Scianna said. He also mentioned that no buildings were shut down during the NYPD/Public Safety investigation.
The St. John’s emergency text messaging system was not used because, according to Scianna, the situation was “thought to not be a serious threat and no one was in imminent danger.”
Later that evening, the NYPD arrested Patel.
According to the TimesLedger article, the Queens DA said it traced the call back to Patel’s home and that he claimed he had made the threat because he was angry at St. John’s.
Public Safety released a second announcement at 1:45 a.m., revealing the suspect’s apprehension and confirming that the threat was minor.
“Public Safety assures the University community that at no time during the investigation was the safety of the community in danger,” said the advisory.
Overall, Scianna seemed relieved with the how the situation ended.
“The safety of our students and staff are of the utmost importance and luckily everything turned out ok,” he said.