NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Connecticut man was charged Wednesday with threatening and reckless endangerment in connection with a hoax telephone call to Yale University last year claiming a gunman was going to shoot people at the Ivy League school, police said.
The threat prompted a six-hour lockdown of the campus and a massive police sweep that shut down a section of the surrounding city of New Haven, 80 miles north of New York City.
Jeffrey Jones, 50, a homeless man who told police he was from Westbrook, turned himself into police on Tuesday after a five month investigation to determine the caller’s identity, said Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department.
Jones was formally charged Wednesday with falsely reporting an incident, reckless endangerment, threatening, misuse of the emergency 911 system and breach of peace, Hartman said.
If convicted of the most serious charges, including a felony count of reckless endangerment, he could face up around 10 years in prison, a court official said.
It was unclear how Hartman intended to plead to the charges. His public defender could not be reached.
U.S. schools and universities have been on high alert in recent years after several high profile shootings in public spaces and school campuses.
Authorities have also been making an effort to prosecute individuals behind a string of phony threats.
In December, a 20-year-old Harvard University student, Eldo Kim, was charged in federal court with making bomb threats at the school. In court papers, FBI agents said Kim told them the threats were an effort to get out of exams.
Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere. Editing by Andre Grenon