- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Man who made gun threats charged with telephone misuse in P.G.
A Crofton, Md., man who was hospitalized after police said he made threats to open fire at his former workplace will be charged with one misdemeanor count of telephone misuse, Prince George's County police and prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Neil Prescott, 28, has remained hospitalized since he was taken into custody for a mental evaluation Friday after police said he threatened violence against a supervisor in phone conversations. Authorities raided his home and found 25 guns and a stockpile of ammunition. All of the guns were owned legally, county State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said.
Although officials said they still consider Mr. Prescott’s actions indicative of a serious threat, they were unable to bring more serious charges against him.
“Unfortunately, Maryland does not have a law that makes it expressly illegal for a person to communicate generalized threats over the telephone,” Ms. Alsobrooks said, adding that she plans to lobby lawmakers in Annapolis next year about establishing such a law. “He ought to be facing felony charges, not just misdemeanor charges.”
Police initially said a large-scale attack had been averted and Mr. Prescott, who has no prior criminal record, could face federal charges because of the nature of the threats. No federal charges had been filed as of Wednesday, and Ms. Alsobrooks said Mr. Prescott’s case would be heard on the Prince George's County District Court’s mental health docket, a specialized docket that incorporates treatment components into the handling of criminal cases.
The charge of telephone misuse is punishable by up to three years in jail and a $500 fine.
“I am a joker; I’m gonna load my guns and blow everybody up,” Mr. Prescott reportedly said during conversations, adding that he would like to see the man’s brain spattered on the sidewalk, police said.
The supervisor inferred that the “joker” reference was to the Joker character from the Batman franchise and evoked fear of the carnage that took place a week earlier in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater when a gunman opened fire during a showing of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” Aside from using the term “joker,” Prince George's County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw said, Mr. Prescott made no overt references to either the Colorado shootings or the movie.
The Pitney Bowes supervisor reported the threats to police, leading Anne Arundel County police on Thursday to contact Mr. Prescott at his Crofton apartment, in the 1600 block of Parkridge Circle. Early Friday morning, police served a search warrant and discovered the cache of guns in his apartment, including high-powered rifles and handguns and several loaded guns next to his bed.
Mr. Prescott appeared “unstable” and was taken in for an emergency psychiatric evaluation, Chief Magaw said. He has since agreed to be held voluntarily and has been transferred to a different hospital.
“It’s hard to measure what you prevented, but all the elements were here. We believe a tragedy was averted in this case,” Chief Magaw said.
It was unclear when Mr. Prescott would be released from the hospital, but Ms. Alsobrooks said state law would prevent him from being able to regain possession of the guns seized by law enforcement or to purchase any new guns while his case is pending.
She suggested that in addition to creating a new threat statute, the state also should have tighter restrictions in place to prevent people with mental illnesses or disabilities from possessing firearms. Neither Anne Arundel nor Prince George's county police officials had any knowledge of Mr. Prescott having had any documented mental illness issues in the past.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Snow, ice leave thousands without power in D.C. area
- D.C. police officer linked to prostitution ring
- Wal-Mart greets first customers in D.C.
- No money sought for new D.C. firetrucks deemed 'oversight'
- Vincent Gray's scandals promise to tangle D.C. mayoral campaign
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Crystal Wright is a black conservative woman living in Washington, D.C.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow