Louisiana man arrested in university bomb threat case

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 19, 2012 8:12 PM
Louisiana man arrested in university bomb threat case

By Kathy Finn

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A man has been arrested in connection with a bomb threat that led to the evacuation of Louisiana State University, but he does not appear to be linked to recent threats against other universities, school police said on Wednesday.

William Bouvay, 42, of Baton Rouge, was arrested late on Tuesday on charges of communicating false information of a planned bombing, the university police said.

LSU's Baton Rouge campus was evacuated after receiving a phone call on Monday warning of multiple bombs.

Students were later allowed to return to their dormitories after police swept buildings at the university, which has 29,000 students and 4,700 faculty and staff. No explosives were found.

Police said the bomb threat was made from a deactivated cell phone that was only able to make emergency calls. Investigators pinpointed a GPS location from which the call was placed, then searched the area and identified Bouvay as a suspect. When questioned, he admitted making the threat, police said.

The Louisiana case was similar to several other recent cases. On Friday, threats were phoned in to the University of Texas at Austin and North Dakota State University, prompting evacuations of both campuses. No bombs were found.

Also on Friday, Hiram College in Ohio was evacuated following an e-mailed bomb threat, and Indiana's Valparaiso University, issued a security warning, saying that an unspecific threat was made via a graffiti message.

Captain Cory Lalonde of the LSU Police Department said authorities "have found nothing whatsoever that would link this incident" with others. "Quite the opposite, we have every indication that this is strictly an isolated incident to LSU and the Baton Rouge area," Lalonde said.

University of Texas police have determined that "some of these threats nationally are related, but our investigation is still open," said spokeswoman Rhonda Weldon, who declined to elaborate.

(Additional reporting by Corrie MacLaggan. Editing by Paul Thomasch and Doina Chiacu)