FAMUPD nabs bomb suspect

After a thorough investigation of the Feb. 4, Tucker Hall bomb threats, FAMU Police Department made an arrest.

Joel Floyd was arrested late Tuesday afternoon for calling in a bomb threat to the FAMUPD, which shut down Tucker Hall for two hours.

“I am innocent until proven guilty,” said Floyd, 21, a sophomore biology student from Tallahassee.

Floyd is charged with two counts of false report of a bomb or explosive on state property, which is a second-degree felony He was booked into the Leon County Jail after being arrested.

FAMUPD said the caller contacted them shortly before 8 a.m. on two occasions, claiming that a bomb was in Tucker Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 4 and Friday Feb. 6.

In both cases, FAMUPD responded by securing and searching the facility. In neither instance was an explosive devise found.

Because FAMUPD records can trace callers, the campus police believe Floyd called in the bomb threat. Floyd doubts the evidence that FAMUPD has against him.

“They claim my voice is a match to the voice of the caller … it wasn’t me, I didn’t do it,” Floyd said.

“Because a second-degree felony does not carry a mandated sentence, there is a very wide range of sentencing allotted,” said Deputy State Attorney C.W. Goodwin. “His sentencing will be based on pervious crime records.”

If convicted Floyd could receive penalties ranging from probation to 15 years in prison.

Floyd said he’s not guilty and has had no previous problems with the law.

“I have no previous crime record,” Floyd said.

But according to his criminal records, Floyd has been charged with two counts of fraud impersonation, breach of peace, violation of probation, grand theft and civil contempt.

Floyd’s family said that he is innocent.

“I never thought that Joel would do anything like this,” said Floyd’s sister Tishunta Floyd. “If he did do it, he probably did not mean any harm … he’s just a college student who plays too much.”

Floyd is the second person in four years who has been arrested for bomb threats at FAMU. The difference between the two incidents is that the first caller carried out his threats.

Lawrence Lombardi, a white unemployed embalmer, was sentenced to life in prison for setting off two pipe bombs in 1999. The bombings were accompanied by racist phone calls to WTXL-TV, a local news station.

The first bomb exploded Aug. 31, 1999, in a first floor restroom of Lee Hall. The second bomb exploded in a first floor restroom of the Perry Paige Building.

Floyd is not fretful of speculation or previous cases, and plans to go on as normal.

“I am not worried … I will continue to maintain my class schedule and receive an education,” said Floyd.

Floyd was released Tuesday on $10,000 bond.

Contact Benjamin Evans III at benjaminevans@forpresident.com