Man Accused of Threat Against Conn. Puerto Rican Festival Arrested

on Aug11
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2019-08-11 09:00:46

New Haven police have arrested a man who is accused of making a concerning comment about the New Haven Puerto Rican Festival.

Officers said they arrested 53-year-old Jeffrey Hanson, of Orange, overnight after an investigation into a social media post that created concerns for the festival.

According to police, the threat was posted on a local news station’s Facebook page Wednesday and it read the festival is why “we need 30 round magazines.” 

New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said the post went viral and they immediately launched an investigation along with the FBI.

He said while this was an isolated incident, police took the threat very seriously and increased their presence at the festival.

“Whenever anyone threatens the safety of anyone, it is something that is a high priority for us, especially with the climate today around the country where hateful rhetoric has led to violence. We wanted to make sure that our public here in New Haven and the national public knew that this is not something we were going to take lightly,” Reyes said.

Mayor Toni Harp echoed the chief’s position in a statement on Saturday.

“In New Haven, we will not allow hate, racism, gender bias, or elitism divide us as a city. In New Haven, we will defend equally the rights of all – in this case, the rights of Puerto Rican Americans – to assemble peacefully to celebrate their culture and their traditions,” she said. “And in this case, we also defend the rights of the rest of us to attend and enjoy today’s Puerto Rican Festival.”

The New Haven Puerto Rican Festival takes place Saturday from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Hanson is being charged with breach of peace and was held on a $50,000 bond. He posted bond Saturday morning and is due in court Monday.

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