COLD SPRING HARBOR, New York, July 24
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
A Huntington man who previously studied at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory faces multiple felony charges after allegedly making “terroristic threats” against the lab on social media.
Nassau County Police said John Sheppard, 26, studied at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), but was later suspended for “erratic behavior.” Police did not specify what that behavior was, but said that after the suspension, Sheppard allegedly made “several threatening posts” via social media toward the lab and its staff between May 19 and May 23. The threats were also not specified, but police said lab members feared for their safety.
On July 16, Sheppard was arrested at his home without incident. As police took him into custody, they discovered he was in possession of an “imitation pistol BB gun,” but no injuries were reported. Sheppard was later arraigned on July 17 in First District Court in Hempstead and charged with six counts of making a terroristic threat, a D felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Founded in 1890, the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory originally stood as a biology teach-training lab. Now, located at One Bungtown Road, more than 100 years later, the lab is home to over 600 researchers and technicians with expertise in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and other fields.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander (Thursday, July 24, 2014; A3)