2 New York Campuses Evacuated Over Fake Bomb Threats

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
February 24, 2024New York
2 New York Campuses Evacuated Over Fake Bomb Threats
A police car drives through the Manhattan borough of New York on Jan. 14, 2021. (Spencer Platt/file/Getty Images)

Two campuses of the City University of New York went into lockdown after receiving bomb threats Thursday afternoon, police said.

According to the NYPD, school officials from both colleges—York in Jamaica and Queens in Flushing—received anonymous bomb threats via email at roughly the same time, around 12:50 p.m., claiming explosives were left to detonate at both campuses.

Police from the 103rd Precinct assisted with the evacuation of the schools.

The NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit was dispatched but was unable to find any explosive devices on either campus. Both colleges were cleared shortly before 3 p.m.

“Making threats like these are dangerous and disgusting,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “We won’t stand for this in Queens.”

Mr. Richards said his office was monitoring the situation. He thanked the staff at the university, and the NYPD for their help in keeping the students safe.

Deputy Inspector Ralph Clement, the commanding officer at NYPD’s 103rd Precinct, confirmed it was a bomb threat sent by email.

“So we are taking precautions just to make sure it is not a bomb,” Mr. Clement told The Queens Courier. “These things happen, not often, but they happen. So we have to go the full route with it because God forbid it’s real.”

Even though both schools were cleared, both decided to keep the campuses shut for the rest of the day. Classes and work will resume on schedule and in-person in both schools tomorrow.

York College announced on its website that all classes went remote as of 1:15 p.m.

At Queens College, all classes went remote as of 2:30 p.m.

“A credible threat was received by Queens College earlier today,” the school announced.

“The campus community was advised to work and attend classes remotely for the remainder of the day. All classes and business services will resume on schedule tomorrow.”

Political science professor Michael Sharpe told the Courier that he only became aware of the situation when he saw the students departing in droves as he arrived on York’s campus to administer an exam.

“I’m shocked,” Mr. Sharpe said. “I’ve been here for 16 years and this is the first time I’ve seen this.”

So far, no arrests have been made, the NYPD said, but an investigation is running to identify the source of the bomb threats.

Making bomb threats is a class D felony in the State of New York, punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment.

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