August 13, 2014 / 9:26 PM / 5 years ago

Man indicted for bomb hoax at Louisiana university

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A 30-year-old man has been charged in connection with a bomb hoax last month at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette that forced an evacuation of the campus and triggered a large-scale police response, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Devin Haywood, a Louisiana resident who is not a student at the school, was also indicted on one count of bank robbery, stemming from an incident prosecutors say took place on the same day of the threat in Lafayette, 120 miles (193 km) west of New Orleans.

The two charges carry maximum sentences of 10 and 20 years in federal prison respectively, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lafayette.

The July 16 incident began with an early morning threat called in to a television station warning of a bomb in a park near the school and an unspecified number of other explosive devices on campus, authorities said.

Police responding to the threat found a suspicious device in or near a garbage can in a park adjacent to the school that turned out to be a phony bomb.

Classes were canceled for the 5,500 students attending summer school. Several hundred visitors, including incoming freshmen, had to spend much of the day off campus.

Haywood’s court-appointed attorney, Wayne Blanchard, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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