Man, 53, arrested after threatening violence against Saturday's Puerto Rican Festival in Conn.

David Caplan
August 10, 2019 - 7:48 am
Jeffrey Hanson

New Haven Police Department

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A man who allegedly threatened violence in a Facebook post against today's annual Puerto Rican Festival in New Haven, Connecticut, was arrested early Saturday morning, police said.

"Suspect in Facebook Comment to the Puerto Rican Day Festival is now in custody," the New Haven Police Department tweeted. 

The man was identified as 53-year-old Jeffrey Hanson of Orange.

Detectives brought him into the New Haven Police Department around 1:30 a.m., reported FOX61, which also obtained video of the arrest.

Hanson, using the screen name "Jake Wilson," allegedly commented on a Facebook post about the festival posted by New Haven ABC affiliate WTHN, writing the event was why "we need 30 round magazines." 

Guns magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition were prohibited from being sold in Connecticut following the Sandy Hook mass shooting.

Hanson was charged with breach of peace and was being held on a $50,000 bond.

New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said on Thursday there was no credible threat to the festival.

Reyes said in a statement, “I am aware of the comment that was posted on social media referencing the Puerto Rican Festival on Saturday and have launched a full investigation. We are working closely with our federal, state and local partners, as we do for all major events, and have not identified any threat to the event."

He continued, “I encourage everyone to come out with their families to enjoy Saturday’s festivities on the New Haven Green,” Reyes said. “The NHPD looks forward to sharing in the celebration and will be working alongside our partners to ensure everyone at the event has a safe and enjoyable experience”

The head of festival organizer Puerto Ricans United, Joe Rodriguez, said the Puerto Rican community will respond to "hate" with "love."

“We, Puerto Ricans United, were made aware of the inappropriate and hateful comments that surfaced online," he said. "The comments were quickly reported to New Haven Police and it is being investigated. We have been told by local police officials that the threat is not credible, though we will have a police presence at the park."

He added, “We, as an organization but more importantly as a community, the Puerto Rican community, will do what we do best and that is, in the presence of hate, we will respond with love, in the presence of division, we will respond with unity, and on Saturday we will stand up in solidarity for who we are and what we stand for as Puerto Ricans,” he said.

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