A conspiracy theorist was arrested and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation after he called several schools in Newtown to claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings were “fake”.
30-year-old Timothy Rogalski called the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Tuesday morning and left four messages on the school’s answering machine before speaking to an administrative assistant. Using his father’s name, Rogalski said he wanted to enroll a child in the school but wanted to make sure no more “fake” shootings would occur.
After calling two other schools in Newtown, police traced the number back to Rogalski and arrested him at his home.
While Rogalski’s behavior was idiotic and his remarks will undoubtedly be offensive to many, the claim that the phone calls were “threatening” in nature is up for debate.
“I just wanted to make sure that there was going to be no fake shooting on the day that I enrolled him,” court records showed Rogalski said. “I just wanted to clarify that he wouldn’t get shot by a fake Adam Lanza.”
Rogalski subsequently gave his name as Dawn Hochsprung, the name of the deceased principal, before accusing the school of greed for taking charitable donations.
Rogalski apologized for his comments, but asserted that he never intended to threaten anyone.
“I know I may have offended people, but they were words, and I made no threats. I wasn’t going to do anything,” Rogalski said.
Rogalski is being held on a $50,000 bond and will undergo a psychological screening. He has been charged with harassment and will appear in court again on April 22.
There have been numerous instances of Americans being arrested and forced to undergo psychological testing for controversial political beliefs in recent years.
The most noteworthy example occurred in 2012 when former Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Brandon Raub was kidnapped from his home by police, FBI and Secret Service agents and forcibly incarcerated in a psychiatric ward by authorities in Virginia in response to Facebook posts which the FBI deemed “terrorist” in nature. Raub’s posts questioned the official story behind 9/11 and referred to corruption within the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve.