Morris County man arrested on threats against a Washington State College

MORRIS PLAINS, NJ (Morris County) – A Morris County man was arrested Monday on charges of allegedly making telephone threats to a college in Washington State that prompted its closure for two days last month.

Robert W. Kerekes Jr., 53, of Morris Plains was charged with making terroristic threats, criminal coersion, and making a false public alarm, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, and Morris Plains Police Chief Jason Kohn said in a joint press release on Wednesday.

Kerekes was remanded to the Morris County Correctional Facility per the New Jersey Bail Reform Act.

The charges stem from an investigation into telephone threats made on June 2 against Evergreen State College in Olympia Wash. The telephonic threats caused a shutdown of the college on June 2 and June 3 and resulted in the response of numerous state and local law enforcement agencies.

This is an active investigation and there is no additional information for release at this time, prosecutors office said.

The following information was posted by Evergreen State College on its college website:

June 1-2: Suspended operations

  • An external call-in threat toward Evergreen was received by the Thurston County Communications Center (TCOMM 911) early in the day on Thursday, June 1.
  • To ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, Evergreen President George Bridges made the cautionary decision to immediately close the Olympia campus and suspend operations.
  • Suspended operations continued through Friday, June 2 so law enforcement could evaluate the necessary information and nature of the threat.

June 3: Campus reopens

  • Law enforcement teams searched campus buildings to ensure they were secure. They determined that no one was actively posing a threat.
  • Once the campus was determined safe, Evergreen President George Bridges made the decision to reopen campus and lift suspended operations on Saturday, June 3.

June 5: Suspended operations and reopen

  • Evergreen’s Olympia campus suspended operations on Monday, June 5, while law enforcement officials reviewed new external threat information received over the previous weekend.

After consultation with law enforcement, a determination was made of no active threat to campus, and campus re-opened at 3 p.m.

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By: Jay Edwards
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