Bomb threat suspect accused of multiple threats

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PRINCETON, Ill — The suspect in Wednesday’s bomb threat incident that caused the evacuation of three north Princeton restaurants, will appear in court Thursday on another bomb threat charge.

Princeton Police Chief Tom Root said Kristofer C. Watson, 24, of Princeton, was arrested Wednesday night for disorderly conduct bomb threat, a class 4 felony, for allegedly calling AmericInn in Princeton Dec. 10 with a bomb threat against the Burger King restaurant.

Watson is also a suspect in Wednesday’s incident.

At 6:21 p.m., the Princeton Culver’s restaurant received a call from an unknown male subject, who said there would be a bomb going off in six minutes at the McDonald’s and Burger King restaurant.

Princeton Police responded to the call, evacuated McDonald’s, Burger King and the Roma Italian Restaurant, and blocked off the area with the assistance of the Bureau County Sheriff’s Department and the Illinois StatePolice. There was no explosions, and a bomb-sniffing dog from Springfield turned up no explosive devices.

During the course of the investigation, Root said they discovered a call had come into Culver’s at 6:20 p.m. The caller hung up, but Caller ID showed the number the call came from. Root said the number was blocked on the 6:21p.m. call.

Root said they dialed the telephone number, which was answered by a voice mailbox system that included Watson’s name. Police reviewed their records for any previous contact with Watson, ¬†and discovered he was a Burger King employee and a witness in the Dec. 10incident.

Root said they went to the apartment where Watson was staying, and received permission from the renter to review the telephone records for December for the cell phone. The phone was in the renter’s name.

The records showed a call made from the phone to AmericInn on Dec. 10 at the time of the bomb threat.

Police went to Burger King later in the evening to interview Watson, who was working at the time. While being questioned, he suffered an apparent seizure, and was transported to Perry Memorial Hospital.

Root said Watson was found to be in good health, so police told him he was being arrested for the Dec. 10 bomb threat.

Root said Watson threatened to kill himself, so police returned him to Perry Memorial Hospital. After being cleared as a suicide risk, Watson was transported to the Bureau County Jail.

Root said Thursday police were seeking a subpoena to get the cell phone records for Watson’sphone for Wednesday night at the time of the Culver’s call. He said thesubpoena could take from two weeks up to three months to receive.

Root said after the records are received, he will ask for arrest warrants for Wednesday’s bomb threat.

Root said Watson has an extensive criminal background.

“It’s 31 pages long,” Root said. “He’s served time in prison in three or four states, on all kinds of charges.”