A New Haven Puerto Rico Festival continued its celebration as usual, despite a social media threat from a white man posing as a Black man.
Jeffrey Hanson, 53, was arrested for one count of second-degree breach of peace after posting on a fake Facebook page under the alias, Jake Wilson.
On the profile, “Wilson” claimed to be a “Black homosexual,” commenting on a article about the festival, implying the use of gun violence, saying this is why “we need 30 round magazines.”
The New Haven Register reported that Police Chief Otoniel encouraged residents to still attend the festivities during a Saturday morning news conference, citing there was no credible threat founded.
Over 10,000 people attended the festival.
In a statement praising authorities for their quick call to action, Mayor Toni Harp said, “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.”
Although the threat was not credible, it was taken very seriously, and considered “high priority” due to last weekend’s domestic terrorist shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 22 people.
Hanson, who was released on a $50,000 bond Saturday morning, could face additional criminal charges as the FBI continues its investigation.
No weapons were recovered from the Connecticut man, who was not known to police, according to investigators.
Hanson’s arraignment is scheduled for today.