The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

School of Law receives threatening letter

A rat poison-filled envelope addressed to the St. John’s School of Law Dean was discovered Monday afternoon, according to University officials.

Dominic Scianna, director of Media Relations, said the envelope arrived Monday afternoon and was picked up by a School of Law employee. Despite the majority of the Queens campus being closed for Easter Holiday, the School of Law was open and had classes scheduled.

The substance-filled envelope, addressed to Andrew Simons, acting dean of the School of Law, found its way to his office and was opened by Simons’ secretary.

Rat poison can be hazardous to humans if ingested but is otherwise harmless.

“[The envelope] contained a rambling, profanity-laced handwritten letter, along with a CD container and some material identified as probably rat poison,” Simons said in a letter addressed to the St. John’s community. “No one was harmed and there is no indication that the envelope was sent by anyone associated with St. John’s.”

Scianna also confirmed that no harm was done from the envelope.

“Thankfully the situation was taken care of and besides our employees having to wash their hands, no one was injured,” he said.
The envelope was reported to Public Safety, who then notified the New York City Police Department’s 107th precinct.

“Once the NYPD were involved, they brought in their hazmat [hazardous materials] unit and they determined that the substance was rat poison,” said Scianna.

He also mentioned that investigations by the NYPD are still ongoing to find the source of the letter.

Public Safety released an advisory Tuesday afternoon on St. John’s Central notifying the University community of Monday’s incident and to be wary of suspicious packages.

“The St. John’s Department of Public Safety has alerted the St. John’s mailroom to carefully inspect and monitor incoming mail and packages to the University,” the message read. “If you see a suspicious package or notice any unusual activity, please report it to the Department of Public Safety.”

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