Man Who Threatened Puerto Rican Festival Gets Probation

February 04, 2020 - 9:37 am

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man who posted a message online that police determined was a threat to a celebration of Puerto Rican culture has been granted a special form of probation that could result in the charge being dismissed.

Jeffrey Hanson, 53, of Orange, had been charged with second-degree breach of peace, The New Haven Register reported.

Hanson, referring to a story about last year's New Haven's Puerto Rican Festival, posted a message on a television station's Facebook page that said: “This is why we need 30 round magazines.”

There was no violence at the Aug. 10 festival. But the Facebook post prompted an additional police presence and an FBI investigation.

The threat came just days after a gunman shot and killed 22 people and injured 24 more at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Hanson told investigators that what he did was “stupid" and said he never intended any violence. He does not own any firearms.

Under accelerated rehabilitation, granted to suspects with no previous criminal convictions, a defendant is placed on probation for up to two years. If the defendant satisfactorily completes the program, the charges are dismissed.

Hanson’s attorney, Douglas Rudolph, said neither he nor Hanson wanted to comment.