Man Brought Bombs, Weapons Into Stony Brook Univerity Hospital
The man brought his wife to the hospital emergency room and became upset when he was denied access to patient rooms due to coronavirus restrictions.
STONY BROOK, N.Y. — A Long Island man is facing charges after police say he brought a backpack containing bombs and other weapons into Stony Brook University Hospital’s emergency room.
Salvatore Billigmeier, an off-duty NYPD detective, was at the hospital with his father when he noticed a man in a tactical vest arguing with an employee just after 9 p.m. Tuesday, reports ABC 7. The combative man, later identified as 33-year-old Robert Roden, brought his partner to the emergency room and became upset when he was denied access to the patient area due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Billigmeier followed Roden and saw him return with a backpack. Security officers stopped Roden and he was taken into custody by university police. The Suffolk County Emergency Service Section Bomb Squad and Canine Unit officers were then called after a suspicious package was discovered in his backpack.
“We were able to analyze it yesterday, where we determined that it did have the ability to be energized and exploded,” said Suffolk Police Chief Gerard Gigante. “So it was, in fact, a device that could have been detonated if it was built correctly. Our emergency services bomb squad made the device safe for transport, and it’s being transported to the FBI laboratory, will be analyzed and evaluated, and additional charges, pending the lab report, are possible.”
The officers determined Roden had three explosive devices in his backpack, in addition to a hatchet, a BB gun, handcuffs, and a camouflage vest with pockets containing magazines and ammunition, according to CBS Local.
While detectives investigated the scene, two floors of the hospital — including the emergency room — were evacuated. No injuries were reported and the emergency room reopened around 1:30 a.m.
On Wednesday, a search warrant was issued at Roden’s home. Authorities found five additional devices, materials to make explosive devices, several booby traps, 42 grams of methamphetamine and an AR-15.
Neighbors told police they have heard both small and large explosions come from Roden’s backyard every so often over the past several years.
Roden has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal contempt, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He also has an open case of second-degree menacing from December 2019 after prosecutors said he threatened to beat someone with a hammer.
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