Law enforcement recently arrested a man accused of causing “widespread panic and fear” by perpetrating a bomb hoax at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, NJ.
According to authorities, the suspect was actually the same person who first reported the threat.
The scary incident unfolded around 8:00 p.m. at the Willowbrook Mall, a popular mall in Wayne, New Jersey. The suspect reportedly approached a mall security guard in the food court area and said that he came across a Post-It note indicated that six bombs had been placed throughout the mall.
Wayne NJ police officers soon arrived at the scene and immediately evacuated the mall. Police then searched the mall for any trace of a bomb; however, no explosive devices were found inside the mall.
Meanwhile, the suspect reportedly passed out and had to be taken to a medical facility for treatment. He also underwent a psychological evaluation at the hospital.
The suspect is a 56-year-old Wayne NJ man. He faces very serious criminal charges for creating a false public alarm. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3, a person who initiates a report of an impending fire, explosion, bombing, or crime while knowing that the report is false and that it is likely to cause evacuation of a building can be charged with a third degree crime. A conviction on third degree charges of creating a false public alarm can result in a sentence of 3-5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
If the suspect had been charged with making terroristic threats, he would have faced similar penalties because making terroristic threats is also classified as a third degree criminal offense.
After being arrested and charged, the suspect was being held at Wayne police headquarters in advance of a bail hearing.
For additional information about this case, view the NJ.com article, “Willowbrook Mall Bomb Hoaxer Charger, Cops Say.”