2016-03-30 / Front Page

Queens Man Made Terror Threats, 35 Fake 911 Calls

By Liz Goff
City fire marshals last week arrested a man who confessed to making 36 false alarm calls, including one where he faked a Middle Eastern accent and said he had a bomb attached to his body on the rooftop of a Briarwood building.

Kenneth Campbell, 47, was arrested on March 23 and was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on a complaint charging him with five counts of making a terrorist threat, 20 counts of second-degree falsely reporting an incident and nine counts of third-degree falsely reporting an incident.

The criminal complaint alleges that between February 12m, 2016 and March 16, 2016, Campbell placed more than 30 calls anonymously to 911, saying he smelled gas, smelled smoke and was reporting electrical emergencies. The complaint also alleges that Campbell reported various such as elderly people falling and suffering head injuries, a pregnant woman going into labor and a person suffering a heart attack.

Campbell is also alleged to have made five anonymous 911 calls on March 9, 2016, where he reported seeing bombs on the rooftop of his apartment building, to having a bomb strapped to his body, and threatened to toss bombs from the building onto police and firefighters who responded to the cals..

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Campbell told fire marshals investigating the case that he made the calls and said, “My uncle (with whom he lives,) is verbally abusive to me and the sound of sirens calms him down.” Campbell told the fire marshals that he would “change the sound of (his) voice when making the calls and used other people’s phones and nearby pay phones to make the calls.”

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Campbell jeopardized the lies of other New Yorkers by directing firefighters and police to the fake calls, and put the lives of firefighters and police in danger “in each of the incidents.”

Brown said, “In more than 30 instances, emergency responders rushed to the defendant’s apartment building, resulting in both a waste of time and resources. The false calls could have also put lives at risk by preventing firefighters and other rescuers from responding to real emergencies,” Brown said.

Campbell was held in lieu of $20,000 at his arraignment. He faces seven years in prison, if convicted.


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