After a month-long investigation into telephone threats that shut down Evergreen College for two days, 53-year-old Robert W. Kerekes Jr. was arrested in New Jersey Monday. From the Daily Record:
Kerekes, who is not married and lists his father in Whippany as his emergency contact, was charged by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday with terroristic threats, criminal coercion and causing a false public alarm at Evergreen State College in the state of Washington on June 1 and June 2.
Kerekes, whose demeanor was calm and polite, appeared via closed circuit television between the Morris County jail and a courtroom for an initial appearance before Judge Joseph Deming. Kerekes has no prior criminal record but he was charged in Florida in 1984 with trespass and the charge was dismissed because he was deemed incompetent at that time.
Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Fiorentino said that Kerekes – who has no connection to the college but has read news reports about student protests on campus about alleged racial discrimination – said Kerekes is charged with making two explicit threats against the college.
I wrote about the threats that closed the campus back when they happened. In case you missed it at the time, here’s one of the two threats phoned into the school. The campus was closed for two days as a result of the threat:
Judge Deming said he couldn’t understand the motive in the case. “It’s obviously true that he’s innocent until proven guilty but to look for logic or rationale or basis or purpose, meaningful purpose, in the conduct that’s described…it escapes me,” Deming said. The prosecutor in the case asked the judge to order a mental health evaluation of Kerekes and the judge agreed over the objection of the defense attorney. The Daily Record published this video of Kerekes first appearance before the court: