Caller Claims of Gunmen Unfounded

By Thomas Fehn

News Editor

A 911 call to Dobbs Ferry Police claiming that three gunmen were on campus on March 16 proved to be false, according to police reports.

Mercy College administration buildings and dormitories were evacuated as Greenburgh police and Yonkers SWAT teams searched the campus for five hours but found no evidence or a reported gunman.  Students were escorted to Our Lady of Victory High School during the search and were not allowed to leave campus.

“After a thorough investigation and room by room search of the buildings, as well as the grounds, the police concluded that the 911 claims were unfounded and that there was no security threat to our students, faculty and staff.” said Mercy Chief Operating Officer Joseph Schaefer in an e-mail to the campus.

On March 16 on 6:20 p.m. a female student called the Dobbs Ferry Police and stated that she saw three males armed with guns enter a main hall lab room.

The crying caller said she hid in the back of the room as one of the suspects pointed a gun at the professor.  She described one of the suspects as “tall, brown hair, white, Caucasian.”  She described the second suspect as white with dark hair.  She did not describe the third suspect.

She claimed no shot had been fired and ended the phone call when police requested her name and number.

Irvington, Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley police immediately responded to the campus and initiated a tactical search of the buildings.

Police have identified the owner of the cell phone, a Brooklyn resident.  Schaefer said in the e-mail Mercy College will cooperate to facilitate prosecution of the caller to the full extent of the law.

No one was injured.  Police are treating the incident as a false report.

“We are grateful that the incident turned out to be unfounded, as the safety of our students and employees is of the highest concern,” said Schaefer.  “We will continue to review and enhance our emergency preparedness to ensure the safety of our community.”