by Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette —
An Albion man faces harassment and falsely reporting an incident charges after an Orleans County Sheriff's Office investigation into numerous bomb threats made last year.
James E. Ryan, 21, 105 Washington St., Albion was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of second-degree aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor, and second-degree falsely reporting an incident, a felony.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Investigator Corey Black charged Ryan following an investigation into a bomb threat called in to the Albion Walmart in August and a bomb threat phoned in to Associated Brands in September.
Additional charges are possible, as the Sheriff's Office reports that Ryan is responsible for making numerous threats to both businesses.
The criminal complaint against Ryan filed in Town of Ridgeway Court alleges that Ryan called Associated Brands on Sept. 12 and told the employee who answered that "he had placed a bomb in the building and that they had to leave within a half hour or it would blow up."
In a voluntary statement to police, Ryan said that in addition to one or two calls made to the Salt Works Road manufacturing facility, he also made several calls to Walmart.
"When they answered I would say there is a bomb in the building run or something to that effect," Ryan said in the statement. "I did this about 4 or 5 times and every time I said that there was a bomb in the building."
The calls resulted in evacuations and police searches at both sites.
Ryan told police that the calls were not borne out of malice towards either business.
"I just did it messing around because I was bored," Ryan said in the statement.
Ryan's fiancee told police in a statement that he said that, "he just did it trying to be funny because he was bored."
District Attorney Joe Cardone described the calls as a "serious" concern.
"Thank God he wasn't telling the truth," Cardone
All the calls were made from the same cell phone, with Ryan saying in the statement that he had also prank called random numbers. He was unsure if he had called in a bomb threat made Nov. 20 against the Route 31 superstore.
Ryan was arraigned on all charges in Town of Ridgeway Court Monday and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to appear back in Town of Ridgeway Court in March; he is scheduled to appear in Town of Albion Court Wednesday.