Bomb threat e-mails released

“Over the first three weeks of the fall semester, bomb threats were e-mailed to the University of Akron, causing buildings to close, classes to be cancelled and forced room-by-room searches. One man has been arrested and charged with two felonies for the threat on Kolbe Hall, but the rest remain unsolved.”

Over the first three weeks of the fall semester, bomb threats were e-mailed to the University of Akron, causing buildings to close, classes to be cancelled and forced room-by-room searches.

One man has been arrested and charged with two felonies for the threat on Kolbe Hall, but the rest remain unsolved. In recently released police reports, the descriptions of the events, actual e-mails and how the UA police department tracked down the suspect responsible for the Kolbe Hall incident are explained.

A booby-trapped bomb is in your facility, the first e-mail to the Auburn Science and Engineering Center said. It will explode when found, if moved or even touched.

Julie Anderson, a college program specialist for the engineering dean’s office, received the first e-mail threat on Aug. 29. She discovered another e-mail the following day.

The second e-mail, while its content was the same, came from a different e-mail address.

UAPD closed Auburn at approximately 8:27 a.m. and notified students via e-mail. The report narrative outlines the actions taken by UAPD.

August 30, 2007, near 0800 hours, the UAPD dispatcher notified me of an e-mail bomb threat targeting Auburn Science and Engineering Center, Major Newt Engle of UAPD wrote in the report narrative. After consulting with Chief Callahan, the decision to evacuate was made. Incident command was initiated and a command post was established in the lobby of the Polymer building. I was the incident commander and Captain Weber was the Operations section chief.

Operations coordinated the evacuation of the building as well as searching every floor for persons who may not have evacuated.

UAPD K-9 Officer Helmick and three Summit County Sheriff K-9 units under Helmick’s command searched the building and the underground parking deck.

The all-clear was issued at 12:30 p.m.

The same procedure was followed in the Kolbe Hall incident the following day.

The student-run radio station, WZIP, received an e-mail threat stating, there is a hidden bomb in your studio that will explode in two hours. It will take the studio out and what ever is around it.

Detective Shannon and I responded to Kolbe Hall WZIP where I received a copy of the e-mail threat. I viewed the header information on the e-mail and determined that it had most likely originated from a mobile telephone, Taylor said in his report.

After speaking with Verizon, it was determined that the mobile phone used was a prepaid mobile phone operating on the Page Plus Cellular network, he said. To provide any further information they would require a subpoena.

Taylor said he contacted the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office and received a subpoena signed by Judge Callahan.

The mobile phone was tracked to City Communications, located at 400 Locust St., suite 305. Jason Douglas Ford, 27, was located there but denied owning the phone.

Ford told me since these are prepaid phones he does not record any information for who he sells them to, Taylor’s report said. Ford advised that he did not have any further information for me.

The location of the cell phone’s origin was not the only thing UAPD received from the subpoena.

Page Plus Cellular also provided all outgoing calls from the phone since its activation, Taylor said. One telephone number in particular was called multiple times.

According to the report, UAPD Detective Sheri Shannon traced the phone number through AT&T. The landline belonged to a local clinic.

Taylor said he and Shannon proceeded to the clinic where they spoke with a woman who reportedly told police that she had received calls from the phone in question. The report stated that the woman told officers that the call was from her boyfriend, Jason Ford.

I contacted police dispatch and had them send a patrol cruiser to 400 Locust St. to locate Jason Ford, Taylor’s report said. When officers arrived they were unable to locate Ford.

He was later found visiting his mother at the Mayflower Hotel.

According to Taylor, Ford returned to his apartment with him and answered questions. Ford initially denied knowing anything, but after being confronted with the evidence against him, he admitted to sending the e-mail threat, the report said.

Ford was placed under arrest, charged with making false alarms and inducing panic, felonies of the third and fourth degree, respectively. Ford, who is unemployed, is not a student.

K-9 units swept the house under Ford’s consent but found nothing.

The phone was located in the apartment complex trash compactor in multiple pieces as Ford allegedly indicated he had attempted to destroy it.

Ford waived his Miranda rights and agreed to answer questions, Taylor’s report said. Ford stated he used the Kyocera phone to make the threat after watching the FOX 8 news report on bomb threats made a day earlier.

Ford stated he selected WZIP because it is his favorite radio station.

Taylor continued to question Ford about the other threats.

I asked Ford if he ever made any other threats to other businesses or colleges and he said ‘no,’ the report stated. I asked him if he was responsible for the threats made against the university on Aug. 29. He stated ‘no.’

Ford states at this time that he was not well and he was having thoughts of hurting himself and/or committing suicide.

Threats were e-mailed to admissions targeting Simmons Hall and the Polsky Building over Labor Day weekend.

A report by Major Engle reported, After consulting with Chief Callahan, the decision not to evacuate was made. Incident command was not initiated. K-9 officer Helmick responded. Neither building was closed nor evacuated.

Both buildings searched by K-9 with negative results.

In total, 11 e-mails were received at the university’s admissions e-mail address.

Each threat was the same: Bombs are in Polsky and Simmons Halls. This is war, motherf***as.

On Sept. 6, UAPD was notified that Blake McDowell Law Center and West Hall had also received an e-mail bomb threat, according to another report by Engle.

The threat said, A bomb is in the Blake McDowall law center. Booby trap, beware.

A command post was set up in E.J. Thomas Hall and the building was evacuated and searched by K-9 officer Helmick as well as two other K-9 officers and a bomb technician from the Summit County Sheriff’s office. The all-clear was issued at 11:15 a.m.

In both the admissions threats and the law school threats, the e-mails were from a sender listed as George Orwell at an Italian Web site.