Connecticut dropout made bomb threats to hide status from family

MILFORD Conn. Mon May 19, 2014 1:13pm EDT

Danielle Shea is shown in this Hamden Police Department photo released on May 19, 2014.  REUTERS/Hamden Police Department/Handout via Reuters

Danielle Shea is shown in this Hamden Police Department photo released on May 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Hamden Police Department/Handout via Reuters

MILFORD Conn. (Reuters) - A Connecticut college dropout was arrested Sunday night after admitting to calling in two bomb threats to keep her family from learning she had quit Quinnipiac University, police said on Monday.

Danielle Shea, 22, of Quincy, Massachusetts, made the threats after arriving at the graduation ceremony in a cap and gown with her mother, who did not know she had dropped out. She "panicked" when relatives noticed her name was not on the list of graduates, police said.

Shea called in two bomb threats to the Quinnipiac University library so the graduation ceremony would be canceled, police said. Instead the Sunday evening ceremony was delayed 90 minutes and moved a mile (1.6 km) to a different campus of the university in the town of Hamden.

Local police went to the 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 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."

No explosive devices were found on the campus, said police, who 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.

(Editing by Scott Malone, Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

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