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Middletown Man Charged After Local Movie Theater Bomb Threat Hoax

FREEHOLD: The following is a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office:

Investigators have arrested a Middletown man and charged him with making a pair of bomb threats this week at the Freehold AMC movie complex, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Jesse Carroll, 22, of Middletown, is charged with two counts of second degree Public False Alarm. He is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, on $200,000 bail with no 10 percent option, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Honora O'Brien Kilgallen, who also ordered he not return to the scene of the crimes and may have no contact with any movie theaters.

The AMC Movie Theater Complex at Freehold Raceway Mall was evacuated twice this week after a series of threatening notes were discovered in the men's room at the complex. On Monday evening, Dec. 14, and again on Friday afternoon, Dec. 18, notes were found in the men's room of the movie complex containing threats to either the theater management or specific threats of bombs inside the theater. One note on Friday afternoon read: "I'm coming for blood; 4pm bomb, 6pm empty mag in guests."

After each discovery the movie complex was safely evacuated while law enforcement was called to the scene. A thorough check of the movie complex yielded no threats to the safety of moviegoers, employees or management and business was returned to normal.

"Making bomb threats in a movie theater is nothing short of domestic terrorism. Thankfully for everyone involved this was a hoax. We have wasted too much time, money and resources with these dangerous and disruptive threats. We will continue to fully respond to every threat to protect our citizens, but we are also going to react with the full force of the law every time threats turn out to be hoaxes," Gramiccioni said.

"We take these threats seriously and I commend our partners in law enforcement for their rapid response in keeping our residents safe," said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. "The security of our homeland is a top priority and such false alarms and hoaxes will not be tolerated."

If convicted of Public False Alarm, Carroll faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey state prison for each count, which also comes with a fine of no less than $2,000 and up to the actual costs incurred by any first responder agencies.

"Our Office fully intends to seek full restitution for the collective costs of all the responding agencies," Gramiccioni added.

On Dec. 14, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, Freehold Township Police Department, K-9 units from the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office, Middletown and Wall police departments, New Jersey Homeland Security, Freehold Independent Fire Company, and Freehold First Aid all responded to the movie complex.

This afternoon, Dec. 18, the response included the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, K-9 units from the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office and Freehold Township Police Department.

Anyone with additional information about this case should contact Detective John Catrone of the Freehold Township Police Department at 732-462-7500, or Detective Patrick Petruziello of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office at 800-533-7443.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle, of the Office's Major Crimes Bureau.

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