By Stephen Neukam
Updated on Feb. 17 at 6:33 p.m. to reflect latest developments in the story.
One man was arrested after making a threat against former colleagues on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus that resulted in a shelter in place on the afternoon of Feb. 17.
The threat by the man, who was referred to as a former employee of a campus contractor, caused university officials to warn students to stay away from windows and lock their doors. The alert was sent out via a text messaging system at 2:54 p.m.
According to Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communication Kristine Brown, the Lawrence Township and Trenton Police Departments responded after the man called the university and placed him under arrest at his place of residence. The shelter in place order was lifted on the campus at 3:30 p.m.
Brown said that it was not believed that the man was not on the campus on Feb. 17, but that Public Safety would keep an increased presence on the campus through the rest of the night.
Rider students were put on alert the night before that the man may pose a risk to the community through alert system emails, texts and phone calls at 8 p.m. on Feb. 16, telling anyone who saw the man to not approach him and call Public Safety.
The email, which features a photo of the male but not his name or where he worked, said that the potential threat was not directed at any individual but that the alert was made out of an abundance of caution.
The Lawrence Township Police Department was contacted and was on campus as part of the investigation.
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Planning and Secretary to the Board Debbie Stasolla said that the man was on campus earlier Tuesday, but the university was not aware of the threat until after he was gone. Stasolla said the alert was sent out in case the man returned to the campus.
According to the email, additional Public Safety officers were posted throughout the campus and will remain for the rest of the week. Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communication Kristine Brown said that extra Lawrence Township Police Department Patrols would be sent to the university as well.
Brown said Tuesday night that the university was not sharing the nature of the threat or the individual’s name.