Queens kept on edge by fake bomb threats

By David Glenn

Amid all the heroism and altruism in the aftermath of the World Trade Center horrors, there were also examples of the worst in human nature.

In the first 13 hours after the attacks, police investigated dozens of bomb scares throughout the city, Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told reporters last Thursday. No bombs were found, but the threats left people even more on edge.

Queens had its share.

At about 1:30 p.m. last Thursday, students and faculty were evacuated from the science building at Queensborough Community College on Springfield Boulevard in Bayside after a phoned-in bomb threat. The building reopened after about an hour when police gave an all-clear.

“I’m not going back in there,” said a 22-year-old QCC senior sitting at a table with friends in the courtyard in front of the building. The senior, who did not want to give his name, said “they shouldn’t reopen it or have classes at all this week. We can’t really concentrate on school work.”

A 21-year-old student sipping a Coke at the same table agreed. “It’s too scary,” she said.

As if students weren’t jittery enough, an underground generator at QCC failed at about 4:30 p.m. Monday, knocking out power in the administration building and the library. The lights were still out by press time Tuesday afternoon. QCC spokeswoman Jennifer Dullahan said the incident was a malfunction in an old generator and was not related in any way to the recent events.

On Friday police arrested Junior Brydson, 34, and charged him with calling IS 59 in Springfield Gardens from a pay phone and saying “there is a bomb in IS 59. All the kids should get out before it blows.”

The school at 132-55 Ridgedale St. with an enrollment of 1,200 was evacuated and searched. No bomb was found.

Officers from the 113th Precinct arrested the man after responding to a pay phone at 131-21 Springfield Blvd. and seeing him making a second call, police said.

On Tuesday afternoon, St. Francis Preparatory High School at 61-00 Francis Lewis Blvd. was evacuated after a phoned-in bomb threat. Classes were resumed after police searched the school and found nothing suspicious.

Police stressed that making bomb threats was not an innocent prank. The 34-year-old accused of calling in the threat to IS 59, for example, will be prosecuted under federal statutes, police said, noting the federal prosecutor requested that no bail be set due to the seriousness of the crime.

Reach News Editor David Glenn by e-mail at glenn@timesledger.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 139.

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