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UW-River Falls receives anonymous letter referencing 2014 ‘Ides of October’ threat

October 20, 2016

On Oct. 28, UW-River Falls received an anonymous letter referencing a past threat to campus, according to a UW-River Falls Police Department campus safety alert.

The recently received letter references another anonymous letter that the university received in fall 2014, which stated: “Beware the Ides of October, the time is nigh and the bullets will fly.” This prompted increased security on campus and a warning to the public to remain calm and take safety precautions during that time.

Although Oct. 15 (Ides of October) came and went without incident, many students, faculty and staff members were shaken by the letter, with many classes being canceled at the university.

The “Ides of October” letter was investigated by the River Falls Police Department and the UW-River Falls Police Department. In late October 2014, the then River Falls Chief of Police Roger Leque disclosed to a UWRF journalism class that a person of interest had been identified. However, no one has been officially charged with making the threat.

Although the letter references the 2014 incident, the safety alert states that it does not contain a specific threat to campus and does not target a specific group or individual, or mention a specific date.

Although the safety alert states that the UWRF Police Department has no reason to believe that anyone on campus is in danger, they ask the public to remain aware of their surroundings and be alert for any suspicious activity or persons. If anyone notices suspicious or unusual behavior or activity, they are encouraged to call 911.

UW-River Falls Chief of Police Karl Fleury declined to comment on the contents of the letter and the ongoing investigation. River Falls Chief of Police Gordon Young could not be immediately reached for comment.