Theater employee was responsible for 2 bomb threats, says prosecutor
The man responsible for two bomb hoaxes at the Freehold AMC movie complex this week was an employee of the theater, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutors office.
Jesse Carroll, 22, of Middletown, is charged with two counts of second degree public false alarm, after he allegedly placed threatening notes in the men's bathroom on two separate occasions. A statement by Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said that the first note, found on Friday afternoon, read: “I’m coming for blood; 4pm bomb, 6pm empty mag in guests."
A similar note was found on Monday, officials said. Both times, the theater was evacuated and police searched the building for over two hours. No credible threats or explosives were found.
“Making bomb threats in a movie theater is nothing short of domestic terrorism," Gramiccioni said. "Thankfully for everyone involved, this was a hoax. We have wasted too much time, money and resources with these dangerous and disruptive threats. We will continue to fully respond to every threat to protect our citizens, but we are also going to react with the full force of the law every time threats turn out to be hoaxes.”
Carroll was arrested on Friday night and faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey state prison for each count, the prosecutor's office noted. If found guilty, his penalties would include a fine of no less than $2,000 and reimbursement of all costs associated with the offense.
“Our office fully intends to seek full restitution for the collective costs of all the responding agencies,” Gramiccioni said in the announcement.
As of late Friday, Carroll was being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in lieu of $200,000 bail with no 10 percent option, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Honora O’Brien Kilgallen. Kilgallen ordered him not to return to the scene of the crimes and have no contact with any movie theaters, the prosecutor's office said.
“We take these threats seriously and I commend our partners in law enforcement for their rapid response in keeping our residents safe,” Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golde said in a statement. “The security of our homeland is a top priority and such false alarms and hoaxes will not be tolerated.”
As of Saturday, business at the theater had returned to normal.
Authorities advise anyone with additional information about the case to contact Detective John Catrone of the Freehold Township Police Department at 732-462-7500, or Detective Patrick Petruziello of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800-533-7443.