Othmer bomb threat perpetrator still unknown

Title

Othmer bomb threat perpetrator still unknown

Description

By: Andy Boyle
Posted: 4/23/07
An unknown man called in a false bomb threat to Othmer Hall around noon Friday.

The engineering building was closed for about two hours to students, faculty and staff members while authorities searched for explosives.

Kelly Bartling, a spokeswoman for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said on Friday a man called Dean of Engineering David Allen's office and told an assistant, "I planted a bomb in the building, you bitch."

The secretary called University Police, who advised her to leave the building and pull the fire alarm.

Garret Schram, a junior civil engineering major, was in the building "30 seconds after the call."

People were crowded around a desk talking quietly, he said.

Schram was in the office getting lunch tickets for an E-week event that college was hosting. E-week is an annual celebration put on by the engineering college.

Schram then ran out of the building with everyone else.

The college's E-week included an open house meant for recruiting, displaying presentations, checking out labs and meeting with businesses that came for recruitment, said Joey Schaefer, a junior mechanical engineering major.

At a press conference Friday, UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said the bomb threat wasn't real and other campuses across the country have had similar threats over the week.

"Unfortunately, these are to be expected when we had a major event like we had at Virginia Tech," he said.

Othmer Hall contains the Biological Process Development Facility, which researches vaccines for biological warfare agents, according to the facility's Web site, www.bpdf.unl.edu.

John Ballard, the associate dean of the engineering college, said he didn't know if there was a hazard involved because of the facility's research in biological warfare.

Othmer Hall was the first building evacuated, said University Police Chief Owen Yardley. Connecting buildings Nebraska Hall and the Walter Scott Engineering Center were evacuated about 20 minutes later.

The last previous bomb threat called in to the university occurred in late September when a man approached a group of sorority members at the parking garage at 17th and R and claimed to have a bomb.

Yardley couldn't comment on how the search of Othmer was conducted.

He also would not confirm that the caller was a man. Earlier, Bartling told the Daily Nebraskan the caller was a man.

"We know it was a phone call that was received by somebody in the department," Yardley said.

Police procedure is to attempt traces on the phone call and investigate who is involved, Yardley said. He said a bomb threat is be a felony charge.

Perlman said if a student were involved, he would like them to be punished as seriously as the university allows.

"I would hope that the campus community would take this seriously," he said, "and if anybody hears or sees anything that would help in this investigation, they would notify campus police or Crime Stoppers or provide us with information."

University Police can be reached at 472-3555. The Crime Stoppers' phone number is 475-3600.

-Daily Nebraskan senior reporter Johnny Perez contributed to this story

--

Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.dailynebraskan.com/media/storage/paper857/news/2007/04/23/News/Othmer.Bomb.Threat.Perpetrator.Still.Unknown-2873794.shtml> Daily Nebraskan - April 23, 2007</a>

Creator

Andy Boyle

Publisher

Daily Nebraskan

Date

2007-09-03

Contributor

Sara AA Hood

Rights

Josh Swartzlander <jdwriter19@yahoo.com>

Language

eng

Citation

Andy Boyle, “Othmer bomb threat perpetrator still unknown,” The April 16 Archive, accessed June 26, 2019, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/1277.