Northeastern College package deal explosion was a hoax carried out by worker, criticism states
A Northeastern College worker who instructed police final month he was injured by an exploding package deal fabricated the story and now faces prices within the hoax, in accordance with a legal criticism.
Jason Duhaime, who was the New Know-how Supervisor and Director of the Immersive Media Lab at Northeastern College, has been charged by criticism with conveying false info and hoaxes associated to an explosive machine and making materially false and fictitious statements to a US Authorities company, in accordance with the criticism.
“All through the course of the investigation, we imagine he repeatedly lied to us about what occurred contained in the lab, faked his accidents, and wrote a rambling letter directed on the lab threatening extra violence,” Joseph Bonavolonta, FBI particular agent in cost, mentioned Tuesday.
Duhaime was arrested in Texas on Tuesday morning and can seem earlier than a Justice of the Peace choose within the afternoon, US Legal professional Rachael Rollins mentioned.
CNN has reached out to his protection lawyer for remark.
The report of an explosion September 13 led to an evacuation of the Northeastern campus in Boston, diverted regulation enforcement sources and triggered panic, Rollins mentioned Tuesday.
“His alleged actions diverted important regulation enforcement sources away from important public security issues and triggered worry and panic not solely on campus but in addition within the houses of the households, pals and family members of Northeastern college students, college and workers in addition to the individuals who dwell and work close to Northeastern’s campus,” she mentioned.
In line with the criticism, Duhaime, 45, known as 911 to report he was injured by very sharp objects expelled from a plastic case he had collected from the mail room and opened in Northeastern’s digital actuality lab. Officers on the time mentioned he suffered minor hand accidents.
He additionally instructed investigators he discovered a threatening notice with the case that accused the lab of secretly working for Fb and Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg in a US authorities plot to take over society by way of digital actuality, in accordance with the criticism.
Nevertheless, investigators discovered the case and the letter had no indicators of harm, and so they found a doc on Duhaime’s laptop that was “word-for-word” the identical because the threatening letter, the criticism states.
Authorities additionally mentioned when Duhaime confirmed his “a number of small, superficial marks or bruises” on his forearms to the responding officer, he rolled up lengthy sleeves that didn’t seem to have harm.
Additional, a scholar who was within the lab throughout the purported explosion instructed investigators he didn’t hear any noises apart from Duhaime’s voice, the criticism states.
“Given the shortage of any bodily proof and the truth that the Letter was discovered on a Laptop in Duhaime’s workplace, the numerous inconsistencies between Duhaime’s story and Pupil #1’s recollection of occasions assist a discovering that Duhaime will not be being truthful,” the affidavit states.
Northeastern College issued a press release Tuesday saying Duhaime is not employed by the college.
“Northeastern want to thank the professionals within the FBI, the US Legal professional’s Workplace, and Boston Police Division for bringing this investigation to a detailed,” the college mentioned. “Figuring out what we all know now about this incident, we want to make it clear that there was by no means any hazard to the Northeastern neighborhood. As all the time, the security of our college students, college, and workers is our highest precedence.”
A web-based bio for Duhaime on Northeastern’s web site says he’s a “new expertise supervisor” who managed the Digital / Augmented Actuality and 360 immersive expertise for the college.