BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Federal Authorities have arrested a Northeastern University employee in connection to a reported package explosion on the school's campus last month.
Jason Duhaime, the new technology manager at Northeastern, is facing charges for allegedly faking the incident and lying to authorities. He was the person who first called 911 about the incident, claiming a pelican case launched projectiles at him and injured his arm. Duhaime also said the case contained a threatening note ranting against virtual reality.
U.S. District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in a press conference Tuesday that when investigators arrived on the scene they found the case that had supposedly launched the projectiles was empty and showed no signs of an explosion. The investigators also did not find any projectiles or suspicious debris in the lab.
DA Rollins said Duhaime denied faking the incident, but after searching Duhaime's laptop, they found a "word-for-word" copy of the threatening letter in a backup folder.
"Metadata associated with this file reflected a created date and time of Sept. 13 at 2:57 p.m., roughly four hours prior to when Mr. Duhaime called 911 to report the explosion," DA Rollins said.
Duhaime works at Northeastern as a technology manager who specializes in virtual and augmented reality and immersive technology. Reports of the explosion caused evacuations at Holmes Hall on Northeastern's campus and led to classes being canceled. DA Rollins said Duhaime's alleged conduct was "disturbing."
"Our city, more than most knows, all too well that a report of a threat of an explosion is a serious matter and necessitates an immediate and significant law enforcement response given the potential devastation that can ensue," DA Rollins said. "The residents of Boston that live and work near Northeastern University experienced this situation as well and were afraid."
Authorities arrested Duhaime in Texas, he will make a court appearance in Boston at a later date.