Los Angeles man arrested in bomb threats against courthouse
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A South Los Angeles man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of making online bomb threats that forced the evacuation of the Inglewood courthouse.
John Patrice Hale, 42, was arrested a week after a federal grand jury charged him with 10 counts of making threats and false statements, including statements concerning terrorism.
He could face up to five years in federal prison on each count if convicted.
No explosives were found at the courthouse and the indictment didn’t indicate why the courthouse and its Los Angeles County sheriff’s station were threatened.
A message left for Hale’s public defender, Sonam Henderson, was not immediately returned.
Federal prosecutors said Hale, using the alias “Frost K Blizzard,” sent threats to a Sheriff’s Department website over several days in May.
Some of the messages mentioned the Islamic State group, but authorities said they have not uncovered any evidence linking Hale to international terrorism.
One message allegedly threatened a “celebration of revenge” from Islamic State that could involve sniper or grenade attacks against deputy sheriffs or bombs planted on patrol cars.
A message posted on May 16 alleged that there was a bomb under a deputy’s car that would explode and affect half a city block. That prompted another courthouse evacuation.
Hale also is accused of sending threatening messages about children at a nearby school and a business, and sending a false tip to the FBI fingering a businessman as having explosives he was willing to sell to terrorists.