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Ex-student calls in bomb threats so mom won’t find out she's not graduating

Although two earlier graduation ceremonies held at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. went without a hitch on Sunday, May 18, the evening commencement ceremony was delayed for 90 minutes and moved to a different university location following bomb threats called in by a former student. The reason why 22-year-old Danielle Shea called in those bomb threats in her misguided effort to derail the commencement, was because Shea’s mom had spent a fortune on her college education costs and was not aware her daughter had dropped out of school and wasn't graduating with the rest of the Class of 2014.

Mom paid thousands toward her daughter’s college graduation, but didn’t know the student had dropped out.
Hamden Police Department

ABC News reported that when the Hamden police caught up with Shea on Sunday, she was all decked out in her graduation cap and gown, even though she knew she wouldn't be attending any graduation ceremonies at Quinnipiac. University police working in cooperation with the police from Hamden, identified the telephone Shea used to place her bomb threats and caught up with her at the graduation site on campus grounds. Shea ended up providing police a thorough confession.

Police said Shea didn't attend the university this year, but her mother paid thousands of dollars she thought was for her daughter's education. When graduation arrived, Shea panicked when relatives didn't see her name on the graduation roster and tried to have the ceremony canceled, they said.

Police said that Shea made two separate phone calls to the university’s public safety office in an effort to disrupt and hopefully cancel the graduation ceremony. The first call was placed about 20 minutes prior to the beginning of the 6 p.m. ceremony in which Shea told officials that there was “a bomb in the library."

In the second call, about 20 minutes later, police said Shea warned that "several bombs are on campus" and noted, "You haven't cleared out graduation. That's not a good idea."

The Boston Herald reported that the university delayed the commencement ceremony originally scheduled for 6 p.m. yesterday by 90 minutes and moved it to the campus’ TD Bank Sports Center. And that’s where police eventually caught up with Shea, still wearing the cap and gown she’d purchased to help perpetuate her ruse. For more on the story, see the video accompanying this article.

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