NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) –Police arrested a suspect in the social media threat toward the Puerto Rican Festival Saturday.
The suspect, 53-year-old Jeffrey Hanson of Orange, was charged with second degree breach of peace. He was released on a $50,000 bond and is due in court Monday, Aug. 12.
On Saturday at 10:30 a.m., Reyes and other law enforcement gave details on the arrest.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp released a statement saying,
“I commend the New Haven Police Department for its quick response to this particularly troubling incident, and for its prompt action to identify the person or persons accountable and apprehend a suspect in the case. The extra effort put into this investigation by Chief Reyes and his command staff, NHPD detectives, and the department’s partners at the state and federal level is laudable. I often salute New Haven’s police department as a national model. This case this week underscores my repeated praise to that effect. In New Haven, we will not allow hate, racism, gender bias, or elitism divide us as a city. In New Haven, we will defend equally the rights of all – in this case, the rights of Puerto Rican Americans – to assemble peacefully to celebrate their culture and their traditions. And in this case, we also defend the rights of the rest of us to attend and enjoy today’s Puerto Rican Festival. Thank you again to all those involved in this investigation. Now let’s all enjoy a terrific celebration.”New Haven Mayor Toni Harp
Racism. Prejudice. Those words are on the minds of many in the aftermath of a string of deadly mass shootings.
Now, the focus includes security at outdoor gatherings, like the 4th annual Puerto Rican Festival on the New Haven Green.
New Haven police Chief Otoniel Reyes said, “There is nothing that the public should be concerned about that poses a threat to this weekend’s events.”
Chief Reyes added, “We work with all our partners on the federal and state level whenever we have these events to make sure that it is safe and that we carry them out without issues to the public.”
Reported hate rhetoric on social media is not tempering the festivities planned.
Joseph Rodriguez said, “In the presence of hate, we are going to respond with love. And in the presence of division, we will respond with unity. I am not going to live in fear. We are not going to live in fear.”
The Puerto Rican community also buoyed by the strength of passion solidly displayed on the island against mounting corruption and national debt, forcing the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said, “The people in this area understand that we are stronger for our diversity. We are better because we come together with different ways of looking at problems. We’re better at solving problems.”
Organizers expecting a large turnout, celebrating that diversity reveling in the rich Puerto Rican heritage and culture now deeply embedded in the fabric of this city and country.