Police in a pleasant New Jersey suburb have arrested a 53-year-old man for allegedly phoning in a threat to go on a shooting spree at The Evergreen State College in early June.
The man, Robert Kerekes Jr., was arrested on Monday night, reports Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO News.
Administrators at Evergreen State — in Olympia, Washington — responded to the threat by asking students to evacuate and canceling classes for three days.
Investigators say Kerekes informed a 911 dispatcher that he was on his way to campus toting a gun. The Seattle Times obtained an audio clip of the 911 call.
“Uhh, yes, I’m on my way to Evergreen University [sic] now with .44 Magnum,” the caller says. “I’m gonna execute as many people on that campus as I can get ahold of. You have that — what’s going on here, you communist scumbag town? I’m gonna murder as many people on that campus as I can. Just keep your — just keep your eyes open, you scumbag.”
The Evergreen State campus had been the site of a continuous stream of high-profile protests led largely by radical black students prior to the shooting rampage threat.
The protesters centered much of their fury on Bret Weinstein, a biology professor who criticized an organized event “inviting” every white student, professor and administrator to leave campus for a day.
In the wake of the cancelled classes, Evergreen State administrators sent an email kindly asking students to stop making vigilante patrols of the campus with bats, batons or other weapons. (RELATED: Evergreen State Officials Ask Student Vigilantes To Stop Patrolling Campus With Baseball Bats)
Kerekes — a man with thick black glasses and head of gray, balding hair — appeared in court on Wednesday by way of a video hookup from a jail.
Morris County, New Jersey assistant Prosecutor Noelle Fiorentino apprised the judge of the 911 call as well as a second one allegedly made by Kerekes, according to NJ Advance Media.
The judge issued an order releasing Kerekes on the condition that he undergo a psychiatric examination.
An attorney representing Kerekes, Brian J. Neary, told the judge that Kerekes does not actually own any guns.
After the hearing, Neary told NJ Advance Media that he did not know why Kerekes would have made the calls or what could have caused him to lash out at the school nearly 3,000 miles away.
Neary also said he had not listened to the 911 calls and that prosecutors have not demonstrated that Kerekes was, in fact, the person who made the calls.
The charges against Kerekes include criminal coercion, making terroristic threats and causing false public alarm.
His next court date is in August.
Administrators at Evergreen State paid approximately $100,000 to rent a nearby minor league baseball stadium for its commencement ceremony in the wake of the threats. (RELATED: Evergreen State Pays $100,000 To Rent Far-Flung Stadium For Commencement After Loony Race Protests)
Evergreen State has traditionally held its spring graduation ceremony on a brick-laden campus quad called Red Square.