By Sheila V. Kumar
BATON ROUGE — Police have arrested a suspect in the bomb threat that led to the evacuation of the LSU campus earlier this week but don’t believe he is connected to threats made against three other universities recently.
LSU police captain Corey Lalonde said officers arrested William Bouvay Jr., 42, of Baton Rouge late Tuesday night after an investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies.
Lalonde said Bouvay was not an LSU student and appeared to have no connection to the campus. He did not know what the suspect’s motive might have been.
Investigators don’t think Bouvay is connected to threats made last week at college campuses in Texas, North Dakota and Ohio.
“We don’t believe at this point that there is any connection to the bomb threats at other universities,” Lalonde said.
Lalonde said police tracked Bouvay down after determining the 911 call received Monday at 10:32 a.m. came from a deactivated cellphone that could only make emergency calls.
Lalonde said investigators were able to pinpoint the location of the cell phone on Tuesday and searched homes in the Baton Rouge neighborhood before identifying Bouvay as a suspect.
“Upon questioning, he admitted to making the phone call,” Lalonde said, adding that Bouvay has been cooperative.
Authorities said he will be charged with communicating false information of a planned bombing.
The threat set into motion a massive evacuation of the sprawling campus that sparked traffic jams as thousands left.
The caller didn’t specify where on campus bombs might be planted, so bomb-squad officers with explosives-sniffing dogs were called in to search all buildings.
As with the threats made last week at the University of Texas, North Dakota State University and Hiram College, the search failed to turn up explosives.
Lalonde said authorities believe Bouvay is the person who called the east Baton Rouge parish 911 center, claiming multiple bombs would detonate on campus within two hours.
Officials believe a majority of the university’s 30,000 students, professors and employees were on campus when the threat was made.
Interim LSU president William Jenkins said he’s pleased at how swiftly a suspect was identified.
“I’m very proud of our resilience, as disruptive and as harmful as this episode was. We’re back at work and once again we’re a productive, thriving university,” Jenkins said.