By Patrick Szpak
Associate News Editor
The bomb squad paid Ryerson a visit last week after assholes phoned in a bomb threat to the Hub Cafeteria and Toronto police found a suspicious box they thought could be dangerous.
Lawrence Robinson, manager of Ryerson security, said his office was alerted at 9:20 p.m. on Thursday after an anonymous phone call was placed to one of the public phones in the hallways of the Hub. The caller claimed a bomb had been placed in the area.
Const. Victor Kwong of the Toronto Police said police called to investigate and found a box full of circuit boards and batteries. Kwong said officers on the scene reported, “the device appears to be a disassembled robot, possibly made by an engineering student.”
The box was deemed threatening enough by police to call in the the Emergency Task Force (ETF) bomb disposal unit and also evacuate the area. Although the ETF was on the scene, it did not employ any of its specialized bomb disposal equipment, Kwong said.
He added the officers quickly determined that the suspicious box had likely been there for some time and was harmless, “judging by the amount of dust that had accumulated on it.” Kwong went on to say that they strongly suspect the box was not related to the bomb threat.
“It’s likely a coincidence,” he said, noting the police must treat every bomb threat seriously and that deploying the ETF bomb-disposal unit to a bogus call could be costly if a real threat were to occur at the same time. “We investigate every case thoroughly,” Kwong said. If caught, those responsible could face up to five years in jail.
Robinson said the student who answered the payphone did not believe the threat was serious because he could hear laughter in the background and the caller mentioned an unnamed comedy film when delivering the threat.
Another student overheard the student who first took the call describing it to a friend and decided to alert campus security, Robinson said.
The bomb squad was last called to the vicinity of Ryerson in September to investigate a suspicious bag on Bond Street. It turned out to be filled with wooden stakes with a message saying, “Happy vampire slaying.”