By Richard Weizel
MILFORD Conn. (Reuters) – A woman who dropped out of Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University was arrested Sunday night after admitting to calling in two bomb threats in an effort to keep her family from learning she had dropped out of school, police said.
Danielle Shea, 22, of Quincy, Massachusetts, made the threats after arriving at the ceremony in a cap and gown with her mother, who didn’t know she had dropped out, and told police she “panicked” when relatives noticed her name was not on the list of graduates.
Police said Shea called in two bomb threats to the library so the graduation ceremony would be canceled. Instead the Sunday evening ceremony was delayed 90 minutes and moved a mile to a different campus of the university.
Local police responded to the Quinnipiac University library as an estimated 5,000 people, including the 388 graduates, evacuated the area and quickly moved to the indoor location, according to John Morgan, university spokesman.
“We cannot speculate what she was thinking,” said Morgan. “But we had to act quickly in the interest of safety.”
Police in the town of Hamden, where the school is located, said a female caller contacted school security twice on Sunday, first saying, “Bomb in the library,” and calling back 20 minutes later to say, “Several bombs are on campus. You haven’t cleared out graduation. That’s not a good idea.”
Police said they tracked the caller down by tracing the phone number she called from.
Shea was charged with threatening in the first degree and falsely reporting an incident. She was detained at police headquarters on a $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on May 30.
Shea could not be reached for immediate comment.