Police in Wayne New Jersey arrested a man who allegedly perpetrated a bomb hoax at the Willowbrook Mall.
According to law enforcement officials, the suspect was the same man who first claimed to have discovered a threatening note at the mall.
The incident occurred just after 8:00 p.m. at the Willowbrook Mall, a popular mall located in Wayne, NJ. The suspect allegedly walked up to a mall security guard and said that he had found a note indicating that explosive devices were present inside the mall. The suspect reportedly said that the handwritten note referred to six bombs.
The report of a bomb threat caused widespread panic and fear and required authorities to evacuate shoppers and store employees from the mall. Authorities subsequently conducted a sweep of the mall but could not find any explosive devices.
Prior to being arrested and charged, the suspect was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment and then for a psychological evaluation.
The suspect is a 56-year-old man from Wayne, NJ. He has been charged with creating a false public alarm. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3, a person who initiates a report of an impending fire, explosion, bombing, crime, catastrophe, or emergency knowing that the report is false or baseless and that it is likely to cause evacuation of a building can be charged with a third degree felony. A conviction for third degree creating a false public alarm can lead to a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ State Prison.
The suspect also could have been charged with making terroristic threats, a crime that is also classified as a third degree felony.
After being placed under arrest and charged, the suspect was taken to Wayne police headquarters to await a bail hearing.
For further information about this case, access the NJ.com article, “Willowbrook Mall Bomb Hoaxer Charger, Cops Say.”