At Quinnipiac University, a recent bomb threat has been reportedly traced back to the cell phone of a former student, one who had purchased a cap and gown for the weekend’s graduation ceremony despite neither graduating from nor even attending the school during the past year.
According to the Associated Press, Hamden police arrested Danielle Shea of Quincy, Massachusetts. Shea, 22, attended Quinnipiac University in 2012, and made the Dean’s List.
However, it seems something occurred between her last year at the university and the weekend’s commencement ceremonies — for which the young woman’s family was in attendance.
The AP reports that Shea was present in a cap and gown, and that her mother observed the absence of her daughter’s name from the program:
“Police said Shea didn’t attend the university this year, but her mother paid thousands of dollars she thought was for her daughter’s education. When graduation arrived, Shea panicked when relatives didn’t see her name on the graduation roster, they said.”
Police say that prior to the 6 PM ceremony at Quinnipiac, bomb threats were called in in what seemed to be a direct attempt to postpone the event.
The caller indicated that there was a “bomb in the library,” later adding that there were “several bombs are on campus,” and observing police had not “cleared out graduation,” adding, “that’s not a good idea.”
Cops in Hamden say that the Quinnipiac graduation bomb threats were traced directly to Shea’s cell phone, and the Hartford Courant reports that the woman admitted her ruse to police shortly afterwards.
According to the paper, Shea confessed, indicating a potential motive:
“In an interview after her arrest, police said Shea told detectives that her mother had paid her thousands of dollars this year, money she thought was for her daughter’s education at Quinnipiac. School records show that Shea was not a student there this year… Shea, who most recently was living in Hamden, did attend the school in 2012 and is listed as having made the dean’s list for the spring semester. To qualify for the dean’s list at Quinnipiac, a student must earn a grade point average of at least 3.5 with no grade lower than C.”
The Quinnipiac bomb threat delayed the graduation ceremony — the third and final one that day — for 90 minutes.
Shea was charged with falsely reporting an incident and threatening in the first degree. Bail was set at $20,000, and the former Quinnipiac University student is set to appear in court on May 30.