MERIDEN, CT - A former student called in bomb threats to a Quinnipiac University's commencement in Connecticut in a bid keep her family from learning that she wasn't graduating despite taking money for her education, according to police.
Danielle Shea of Quincy, Massachusetts, was wearing a cap and gown when she was arrested Sunday inside the arena where the ceremony was taking place, Hamden police said. Police said she gave a detailed confession.
The threats delayed the start of the ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences by an hour and a half, and it was moved to a second location at the indoor athletic arena as a security precaution.
Shea, 22, was arraigned Monday in Meriden Superior Court where bond was set at $10,000. Her attorney asked for her to be released on a promise to appear but the judge said he was troubled by the defendant's actions.
Police said Shea didn't attend the university this year, but her mother paid thousands of dollars she thought was for her daughter's education. When graduation arrived, Shea panicked when relatives didn't see her name on the graduation roster and tried to have the ceremony canceled, they said.
According to police, Shea made two calls to the university's public safety department. In the first, about 20 minutes before the start of the 6 p.m. graduation ceremony, she stated there was a "bomb in the library," said police. In the second call, about 20 minutes later, police said Shea warned that "several bombs are on campus" and noted, "You haven't cleared out graduation. That's not a good idea."
Hamden and university police identified Shea using the telephone number she'd called from and then found her at the arena. She was arrested at the arena, the TD Bank Sports Center.
She is charged with first degree threatening and falsely reporting an incident.
Messages were left at her mother's home.