Sean Doran - courtesy of the East Hampton Police Dept.
Kayla Sypek - courtesy of the East Hampton Police Dept.
Courtesy of the East Hampton Police Dept.
EAST HAMPTON, CT (WFSB) -
A man and woman have been arrested after planting a fake bomb at the East Hampton Middle School, according to police.
Police said Sean Doran, 20, and Kayla Sypek, 20, both of East Hampton, are accused of leaving what appeared to be a bomb on the ground near the front entrance of the middle school early Saturday morning.
According to police, school custodians arrived to open the school for a youth basketball league about 8:30 a.m. Saturday when they discovered the device. According to court papers, the custodian said it looked fake, but called police to be safe.
The bomb-like device was red and orange in color and had a timing device attached to it, police said.
Police said the area was secured and the Connecticut State Police Bomb Squad was called in to investigate. Bomb technicians were able to determine the device did not contain any explosives.
Officers checked the rest of the school and all other schools in town for any other devices.
Police believe this was an isolated incident and all schools appear completely safe for students to attend Monday.
Police said school security footage revealed that at about 1:45 a.m. Saturday, a silver, four-door vehicle pulled up to the front of the school and a male exited the vehicle and placed the device at the front door before driving off.
Officers recognized the suspect as Doran and were able to identify the vehicle to belong to Doran's girlfriend, Sypek.
Police located Doran and Sypek about 12:30 p.m. in their car. Police said when they pulled them over, they noticed Doran was wearing the same plaid shirt seen in the surveillance video.
Doran and Sypek admitted to finding the "fake bomb" on property of a paintball compound, then placing it at the school.
They were arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, threatening and breach of peace. Both suspects were held on a $100,000 bond each and arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on Monday.
"It's taxpayers money because of my client's foolish actions," said Doran's attorney Gerald Klein. "But, the judge in characterizing these actions didn't call it devious or malicious or anything like that. She called it exactly what his parents have been telling me, a stupid, foolish act."
The two suspects walked out of the courthouse with jackets over their heads and surrounded by family members. They did not talk to the media.
Family members of Doran and Sypek told Eyewitness News they think this whole incident has been made into a much bigger deal than it should be. They said really what was left outside the middle school was a doctored up cardboard box and was meant to be a joke.
"There's a lot sensitivity right now with Newtown and its on everybody's minds right now," said Sypek's attorney, Mike Epright. "But at the same time, I think its important that everyone does a fact check and at the end of the day not to overreact to something that's just bad judgement."
Police said authorities from the Federal Bureau of Investigations are also conducting an investigation, and the pair could face federal charges as well.
The state said they're taking any threat like this seriously after the Newtown shooting.
Residents told Eyewitness News that they were upset about the incident.
"Well, it's still a crime. If you go into a store and make a threat that you're going to rob the place, it's still a crime whether you have a gun or not," said Bill Drotar Jr. of East Hampton. "There's no such thing as a fake threat."
Terry Sprankle of East Hampton said Doran and Sypek should face charges to deter other people from doing a similar threat.
"I think that's a good lesson for them," he said.
Sypek is the mother of a young child and also worked at a daycare facility in east Hampton.
Eyewitness News spoke to her supervisor Monday and she said Sypek no longer works there. However, she added that Sypek had been a good worker and she never saw this coming.
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