NORTH CAROLINA MAN CHARGED WITH
BOMB HOAX AT HARTFORD FEDERAL BUILDING
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WALTER A. NUNLEY, III, 50, of Morganton, North Carolina, was arrested today and charged in a criminal complaint with threatening to blow up a federal building in Hartford.
According to the criminal complaint, at approximately 8:40 a.m. today, NUNLEY walked near the front entrance of the William R. Cotter Federal Building, located at 135 High Street in Hartford. NUNLEY, who was carrying a backpack, then shouted to security officers stationed in the lobby of the building, “Hit the deck. I’ve got a bomb.” It is alleged that NUNLEY made this threat three times in rapid succession.
NUNLEY was taken into custody without a struggle.
The Hartford Police Emergency Services Unit/Bomb Squad was called to the scene, and the building was evacuated. Officials subsequently determined that the backpack did not contain a bomb or any explosive materials.
NUNLEY was presented in court before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez and charged with violating 18 U.S.C. Section 1038, making a bomb hoax. The charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and fine of up to $250,000. If convicted, NUNLEY also faces an order of restitution to reimburse any officials for fire or rescue expenses incident to the hoax.
NUNLEY is detained pending a bond hearing that is scheduled for October 4 at 2:00 p.m.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service, the Hartford Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.
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