Authorities announce arrest of Westfield woman for bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital

·2 min read

Federal authorities on Thursday arrested a woman accused of calling in a fake bomb threat at Boston Children’s Hospital, where doctors and staffers have been facing harassment and threats of violence over its surgical program for transgender youths.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins, Joseph R. Bonavolonta of FBI Boston, and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox announced Thursday afternoon the arrest of Catherine Leavy, 37, of Westfield.

Leavy was charged with one count of explosive materials and willfully making a false bomb threat. She is being held pending a detention hearing scheduled for Friday in Boston federal court, Rollins said.

On August 30, a bomb threat was made to Boston Children’s in which the caller allegedly said, “There is a bomb on the way to the hospital, you better evacuate everybody you sickos.” The threatening call prompted a lockdown with children, parents, and staff still inside. A bomb squad that was called in swept the facility and declared the hospital all clear.

During the investigation, law enforcement obtained call detail records and location information for the phone number that called in the bomb threat. Records obtained allegedly indicated the phone number was subscribed in Leavy’s name and that it pinged off a cell tower nearby Leavy’s residence at the time the bomb threat was made.

According to Rollins the phone used to make the threat was recovered during a search of Leavy’s residence on Thursday.

A similar threat was reported at the hospital last week. A hospital spokesperson confirmed that there was no bomb found on site and condemned the “extremist behavior.”

The hospital has been the target of an array of threats against their transgender care programs in recent weeks.

“This behavior is nothing short of reprehensible, and let me be clear, it needs to stop now,” Bonavolonta said. “Threatening the life of anyone who seeks any type of health service is a heinous act and will not be tolerated,” he said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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