Northeastern officials have determined that a bomb threat called into a campus building Thursday night was “fraudulent” and there is no indication it was connected to a Sept. 13 incident when a university staffer said he was injured when a pressurized storage case exploded in his office, the school said Friday.
On Thursday, “an unidentified person called in a threat alleging that there were explosive devices in the Curry Student Center” on campus, officials said in a statement Friday. “The Curry Student Center was evacuated and a thorough sweep of the building was conducted by police and canine units. We have now determined that the threat was fraudulent and there was never a danger to anyone on campus.”
A university spokesperson said there’s no indication the Curry case was tied to the Sept. 13 incident at Holmes Hall.
In that matter, Northeastern employee Jason Duhaime, 45, fiercely denied that he staged the incident during an interview with the Boston Globe, even as law enforcement officials said they were scrutinizing his version of events.
“I did not stage this, in no way shape or form ... They need to catch the guy that did this,” said Duhaime, who works in the virtual reality lab at Northeastern. “It’s a very traumatic thing that has occurred so [I’m] shaken up ... I’m not doing so good.”
Law enforcement officials said Duhaime told them he injured his hand during the incident, which drew heavily armed police to the Holmes building around 7 p.m. But the next day, two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation told the Globe they had become skeptical because of inconsistencies in his story.
A rambling, one-page typewritten letter was also found at the scene, a law enforcement official told the Globe. It accused the university of working with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the US government and referred to robots walking around the campuses at Northeastern and MIT.
Duhaime told authorities the letter had come from inside the case when it exploded, the official said, although it was neatly folded and undamaged.
In the interview, Duhaime said he has valued his interactions with students at Northeastern through his role maintaining the virtual reality equipment and classroom.
“I love the college. I’ve worked there for eight years, and supported faculty and students,” he said. “This is crazy. . . . I cannot believe people are spreading rumors about this.”
No one has been charged criminally in the Holmes Hall case.
The threat on Thursday was called in at around 10:30 p.m., and the Boston Police Bomb Squad responded, authorities said. There were no reports of explosions or suspicious packages, officials said, and a shelter-in-place order was lifted around 11:15 p.m.
No arrests have been made.
Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.