Catherine Leavy, a 37 year old woman from Westfield, Massachusetts, has been arrested after she allegedly called Boston Children’s Hospital and said a bomb was on the way.
The threat was later determined to be a hoax.
Catherine Leavy was taken into custody without incident at her home on Thursday morning, officials said during a press conference.
The 37-year-old was charged with one federal count of explosive materials — willfully making a false bomb threat.
On Aug. 30, 2022, the hospital received a call from a person who told the operator: “There is a bomb on the way to the hospital. You better evacuate everybody, you sickos,” according to prosecutors.
The call was allegedly in relation to the hospital’s gender multispecialty service, which the hospital describes as safe health care it offers its gender diverse and transgender patients and their families, Rollins said.
Children’s Hospital was subsequently placed on lockdown. Several agencies responded and determined there was no bomb.
“Bomb hoaxes cause fear, panic and a diversion of resources that have a real impact on our communities,” Rollins said Thursday. “The people that work at Children’s Hospital and the parents who bring their loved ones to Children’s Hospital are under enough stress.”
Catherine Leavy was determined to be the suspect after authorities received the caller’s phone number and traced it to her, officials said.
Authorities said they located that phone while searching Leavy’s home Thursday morning.
“Today’s arrest should serve as a strong warning to others that making threats of violence is not a prank — it’s a federal crime, and can carry up to five years in a federal prison,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, head of the FBI Boston office, during the press conference.