Hoboken residents reported police activity near Hoboken University Medical Center on 3rd and Willow Avenue this afternoon, citing that local businesses in the area have closed. The Hoboken Police Department confirmed that a bomb threat came in to the hospital through 911 operators this afternoon and the situation is under investigation.
Update as of 7/20/20 at 6:34PM:
The alleged caller has now been identified as 39-year-old Jersey City resident Eliezer Ocasio. Ocasio has been placed under arrest, charged with Terroristic Threats and two counts of False Public Alarm.
The investigation was carried out by Detective Bret Globke and Det. David DiMartino, who were able to locate the origination of the call at a payphone near 400 Newark Street. Ocasio was then identified and arrested at 5:00 p.m. by the Jersey City Police Department. The ensuing investigation led them to a payphone near 400 Newark Street. The detectives were then able to identify the alleged caller as from Jersey City. He was arrested at about 5:00PM by the Jersey City Police Department.
Det. John Quinones generated the warrant complaint charging Eliezer Ocasio. The warrant complaint was processed by JCPD and Ocasio was transported to the Hudson County Correctional Facility. He is innocent until proven guilty.
Update as of 7/19/20 at 4:24PM:
Chief Ferrante has tweeted regarding the status of the search, sharing that nothing suspicious was found at that the police are continuing to investigate who made the call.
The K-9 search of the @CarePointHealth HUMC proved negative. The lockdown is lifted and streets will be re-opening momentarily. @HobokenPD Detectives are investigating leads on the individual who made the call from a payphone.
— Chief Ken Ferrante (@KenFerrante) July 19, 2020
According to Chief Kenneth Ferrante, the hospital has not been evacuated and the only threat was a verbal threat via a call to 911. “There is nothing visible at this time that can create danger,” the chief told Hoboken Girl via email. “There are no other known threats to the hospital from any former patients or former employees at this time.”
According to the Chief, Sergeant Steven Kranz is supervising the scene with approximately a dozen officers and detectives. Hudson County Sheriffs and Jersey City Police Department K-9 units are also on scene to assist with assessing the situation. The caller has not yet been identified.
From the inside, a resident tweeted that they were on lockdown within.
Im in the hospital now. Nobody seems to know anything. Just we are on lockdown
— Patrick (@MightyCondor) July 19, 2020
Another resident shared with Hoboken Girl via Instagram, “Every surrounding street from the hospital is closed – I can see police and yellow tape from 2rd – 6th and Willow, and most of Church Sq Park is closed. Businesses like Chango, Mojo and Zacks had to close.”
Stay tuned to Hoboken Girl for more details as this story develops.