Dorm building evacuated after bomb threat

University Police (UP) officers went door to door evacuating residents in the Holly C apartment building on campus because of a bomb threat called in Sunday night.

UP spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross said a call was placed at 6:30 p.m. notifying UP of the threat. The caller said a note was found on a door stating that a bomb would go off in the building at 10:50 p.m.

UP searched the building’s common areas and found nothing, Ross said.

Melissa Walford, a sophomore marine biology major, said she had just returned to Holly C when she saw another resident on the phone.

“A cop car pulled up and I was like, something doesn’t seem right,” she said. “I just went back up to my room and didn’t think anything of it until the (officer) pounded on our door.”

Students said officers knocked on every door instead of sounding the fire alarm because they didn’t want people going down stairwells.

Melissa Cannatella, a sophomore majoring in history, said UP officers told students, “Just put on some shoes, let’s go.”

“They had to go door to door to get everyone out. They said it’s probably going to be a while because they still have to get the bomb squad in every room,” said Jenni Budai, a sophomore majoring in criminology.

Budai said the officers sent Holly C residents across the street. Students were told not to use cell phones near the building because they could be detonators.

Nicholas Flammia, a freshman majoring in mass communications, said he was concerned for his safety and surprised that UP sent out no MoBull alerts for the bomb threat after sending them for a chemical scare last fall.

“You would think, if for anything, this would definitely be the situation where they would send one out,” Flammia said.

Resident assistants urged students to go to Holly J, a recreation room, while waiting for the building to open again.

Students played games, watched TV and studied under RAs’ supervision in the waiting room. Pizza arrived around 9 p.m. for the 25 students who decided to wait out the threat.

Joe Frezza, a junior majoring in anthropology, said it was inconvenient because he wasn’t able to get his computer from his room and had planned to finish a take-home test online.

“I kind of wish they could have told us we would be out here for this long,” Walford said.

Residents were not allowed to re-entry until 11:20 p.m., at which time UP officers blocked off Holly Drive with a police car and told residents they could cross the street and re-enter the building.

Additional reporting by Candace Kaw and Kelli Polson.