The son of a geography professor who caused a lockdown at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain Monday afternoon was arrested again because he returned to campus on Tuesday.
Following emergency calls about a suspicious person with a gun at about noon on Monday, a campus-wide emergency was declared. Students and staff were told to shelter in place, lock doors and stay away from windows.
"As soon as I saw the gun, I could realize it was a gun," Nicholos Federici said. "I turned around and started to follow him."
Police arrived at the university in less than a minute and immediately blocked off roads leading to the 182-acre campus to ensure the safety of anyone heading to the area. The search eventually centered on James Hall, one the largest residence halls at the campus, and several SWAT teams searched floor by floor.
"The CCSU police come out with AR-15s and say, 'You gotta get out of here now,'" said Chris Bushey, who is a junior at CCSU.
Police said they used security footage and information from a card-swipe system to identify three persons of interest, one being David Kyem.
He, along with two others, were detained. David Kyem was charged with breach of peace and was released on $10,000 bond, and the other two unidentified students were released and not charged.
Kyem's father, Peter Kyem, a geography professor, said his son was at a party at the University of Connecticut over the weekend and didn't bring a change of clothes with him. He said his son then took a bus back to the CCSU campus still wearing the ninja costume.
"I went to the Channel 3 website, and I saw the T-shirt," Peter Kyem said. "I just felt, no. This is my son."
In newly released surveillance photos, David Kyem can be seen dressed in camouflage pants, a black hoodie, with knee pads and a mask, what appears to be body armor, a gun and a sword.
"He was excited and that is his nature, but he isn't evil," Peter Kyem said. "I don't think he has even held a gun before."
University officials said David Kyem was carrying a BB gun while his father said he had a plastic sword.
"We weren't aware it was a BB gun then. All these things taken very seriously. We wanted to respond as quickly and overwhelming as possible," said CCSU spokesman Mark McLaughlin.
On Tuesday, David Kyem was seen on the New Britain campus as well as in James Hall at about 1:15 p.m., police said.
Police said David Kyem was warned not to return to campus before meeting with CCSU Director of Student Conduct Chris Dukes.
David Kyem has not done that, thus he was arrested on Tuesday and charged with first-degree criminal trespass.
David Kyem was released on a promise to appear at New Britain Superior Court on Nov. 14.
Throughout the terrifying ordeal on Monday, students and staff were being updated via social media. Campus officials utilized its various accounts, including a Twitter account from James Hall, to describe the situation, reminding people on campus that this was no drill and an actual emergency had been declared.
"As further information unfolds from yesterday's campus emergency incident, two observations have become clear to me about the world in which we now live. First, you can never be too vigilant nor react too strongly to the threat of violence. All potential threats must be taken very seriously, and the response must be a reaction to worst-case scenarios. Second, as an educational institution we must continue to educate our students and ourselves about the perception of threat. Behavior that causes widespread fear among our students and staff cannot and will not be tolerated," said CCSU President Jack Miller in a statement Tuesday.
Nearly 3 1/2 hours later, the all-clear was given, and students and staff were free to move about the campus.
As for the response to the lockdown, which included state, local and federal agencies, New Britain police Chief James Wardwell called their costs substantial and said they'll climb into the thousands.
Wardwell said those figures are based on their full SWAT call out, assigning second shift in early and pulling away regular officers and detectives.
Newington police said they sent 12 SWAT operators along with three patrol officers for what they say is a minimal cost.
"It was a very expensive operation because we had to throw so many resources at it," McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said CCSU did not have "any numbers at this point" on what the response cost the university.
Calls to state police on the cost for its response were not immediately returned.
Peter Kyem said that while his son meant no harm, he wonders what he was thinking, saying walking onto campus dressed like a ninja probably wasn't the brightest idea.
"I hope when he comes out, he will see the mess he caused," he said.
No injuries were reported at any time during the lockdown.
Students and staff returned to class less than 24 hours after the terrifying incident. University officials said they have provided grief counselors for anyone needed to speak about what took place.
"I can see why some of that needs to be going on, especially if you were on campus for that," CCSU student Rich Marchetti said.
Those grief counselors were on hand throughout the day Tuesday, and university officials said that anyone needed to speak with someone can make an appointment at the Wellness Center.
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