NEWARK, N.J. – A second suspect in a telephone hoax that sent a SWAT team to a New Brunswick (search) house, fearing a girl was being raped by an armed kidnapper, was arrested early Friday in Connecticut, police said.
Wadu Jackson, 20, of Irvington, was located late Thursday night by police in Hartford, Conn., and arrested early Friday on a fugitive warrant, a spokesman for the Hartford Police Department said.
Jackson and an Arlington, Texas woman, Fatin A. Ward, face charges from Tuesday's prank call to police in New Brunswick that resulted in a massive armed response to a house near Rutgers University (search) that tied up the surrounding neighborhood for six hours.
Before she was arrested Thursday at her home, Ward told The Associated Press she was engaged in a telephone chat line game called "bombing" in which callers report fake emergencies at other people's addresses, then watch how many law enforcement officers respond.
She said she meant no harm and that the game got out of hand, but the Middlesex County (search) Prosecutor's Office charged her and Jackson later in the day with conspiracy, initiating a false public alarm, and making a fictitious report to police.
Both suspects are expected to be extradited to New Jersey sometime within the next week, authorities said.
A registered sex offender in Texas, Ward had been charged in Arlington on Feb. 18 with failing to notify police of her new address.
A month later, after the Union, N.J. police department said Ward was making prank calls to them, Texas authorities moved to revoke her bail because she was continuing to commit crimes, said Christy Gilfour, an Arlington police spokeswoman. It was that bond revocation order on which Ward was arrested Thursday.
Ward is suspected of calling in prank emergency calls to police departments in Union, and Belleville, as well as several others in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
"She did the same thing with us," said Georgetown, S.C. police Sgt. Jimmy Burke. "She called in different kinds of threats, people with guns, hostages. We suspect her in calls to our schools with a bunch of threats. We cleared the schools several times because of her."
Ward lived in Georgetown (search) for about five years, Burke said.
Georgetown police have eight arrest warrants for Ward, but say she has made more calls than that. On several instances, Burke said, Ward called in as many as five bogus emergencies in a single day, but only a single complaint was filed treating them all as one occurrence for legal purposes, he said.
Because of the many jurisdictions involved in the case, the FBI may join the investigation, a spokesman for the agency's Newark field office said.