Baltimore Police Department (BPD) arrested sophomore Advaith Baimeedi on Thursday for calling 911 to make a false bomb threat at approximately 7:07 that morning. According to a statement from the BPD, Baimeedi said in the call that he had placed explosive devices in several lecture halls on Homewood Campus. The University postponed 9 a.m. final examinations by an hour to investigate but found nothing suspicious.
Baimeedi was transported to Central Booking Intake Center. The statement reports that he has been charged with making a bomb threat, theft, false statement, threat of mass violence, arson and phone misuse.
If convicted of making a bomb threat, Baimeedi could face up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
According to the BPD statement, Baimeedi stole a cell phone to call police. Baltimore City Arson and Bomb Squad detectives, in addition to University security, first investigated the threats.
The University then issued a security alert at approximately 8:55 a.m. ordering students to clear examination rooms due to an “non-specific threat.” An update at approximately 9:18 a.m. informed students that Hopkins security was searching academic buildings due to a bomb threat. A follow-up alert at 9:45 a.m. stated that University operations had returned to normal.
The statement reported that Baimeedi placed the call on a “dare.”
The owner of the stolen cell phone, another student, had reported that her phone was missing. While studying in the library, she went to use the restroom and left her phone unattended.
BPD and University security allegedly used CCTV camera footage to identify that Baimeedi had stolen the phone.
The phone was later discovered in the bushes outside the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA).
In an email sent to students on Thursday evening, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger and Executive Director of Campus Safety and Security Lee James assured the Hopkins community that the issue had been resolved.
“We have no reason to believe that members of our community faced any physical harm as a result of the threat this morning,” they wrote. “Your safety is of paramount importance and the University acted in an abundance of caution to ensure that safety.”
They also affirmed the University’s dedication to maintaining a safe campus environment.
“Under any circumstances, a bomb threat is a very serious matter and harmful to our community,” they wrote. “ The University will not tolerate such behavior. The fact that this is already a stressful time on campus made this morning’s threat that much more damaging.”
We will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.