Note: The post was updated at 5:15 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A bomb threat evacuated a local college in Manhattan Wednesday and police believe the same suspect is behind a number of recent threats – scaring students and staff.
The NYPD responded to the report of a bomb threat at Marymount Manhattan College on the Upper East Side Wednesday.
Students gathered on a nearby sidewalk, evacuated during afternoon classes.
“Nobody knew if it was for real or if it was a drill,” student Richard Barreto said.
This wasn’t the first time school officials say this has happened. It’s one of several incidents in the last month and they believe the same person is responsible.
“An individual had called our admissions office, basically at first expressing interest in coming to the school, then asking about a particular student who used to go here, so a former student he’s been more or less infatuated with or obsessed with,” school vice president Graham Ciraulo said.
The school says following that initial call, a bomb threat was received on Oct. 2. School officials say the NYPD was called, but believes the man was never formally arrested.
Instead, the suspect was reportedly taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.
The campus was shut down for four days as precaution, but soon after the man was back, allegedly harassing students in the area with more threats.
“He was going to put a bomb under the school,” student Marissa Tappy alleges. “We have two friends that got followed on the subway station yesterday, multiple of our friends have been followed by him.”
“It’s incredibly disruptive, students were very upset, it’s been disrupting their work, disrupting their performance,” Ciraulo added.
Students say the weeks of interference and Wednesday’s bomb threat are putting them behind in their classes, not to mention rattling their nerves.
“We can’t miss school, but we also don’t feel comfortable coming to school,” Paige Lyerly said.
Early Thursday morning, police said 22-year-old Esias Johnson, of Massachusetts, was arrested in the incident and charged with making terroristic threats and aggravated assault.