A Columbus man has been arrested for a fake bomb threat at Mississippi State University
MSU Police Chief Kenneth Rogers reports that 36-year-old Isaac Terrell Pryor of Columbus was taken into custody on Thursday without incident.
An anonymous threat was communicated to MSU Police at 6:24 p.m. on August 25 via text message. Acting on that threat, Maroon Alert emergency notifications were sent to the MSU community to evacuate Hathorn, Hull, Nunnelee, and Sessums halls.
The buildings were inspected and cleared by MSU police and specially trained K-9s. Authorities secured the area and swept buildings searching for the alleged device, with the assistance of the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office. No suspicious device was found.
“While the university is thankful that there were no injuries or damage from this incident, it caused fear and alarm among our campus community and among the families of our students,” MSU Vice President for Strategic Communications Sid Salter said. “The university incurred financial losses and had to call on law enforcement partners for assistance, including the bomb-sniffing K-9s. Schedules were disrupted and our students, faculty, and staff were displaced for a time while we secured the campus.”
Because of those facts, and to deter those who might engage in similar activities in the future, Salter said the “university intends to ask officials to prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law and to seek appropriate punishment of the individual involved.”
The arrest follows an investigation conducted by MSU Police, the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security’s Analysis and Information Center, the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office, and the Starkville Police Department.
Pryor faces a fine of up to $10,000, 10 years in prison, and possibly additional charges as the investigation ensues.