Police: 'Fed Up' UConn Fan Threatened AD in Series of Messages

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A 63-year-old Connecticut man has been arrested after sending threatening messages to the University of Connecticut president's office, targeting the school's athletic director, officials said.

As reported by CT Insider, Bruce Meade of the Weatogue section of Simsbury, was charged with four counts of second-degree breach of peace, four counts of second-degree harassment and three counts of second-degree threatening after he was arrested on April 1, UConn police wrote in their report.

Judicial records show police obtained the warrant for Meade’s arrest on March 12, and he turned himself in on April 1. He is free on $2,000 bond and has not entered a plea to the charges. He is scheduled to return to court on June 6.

The messages were sent through a form on the UConn website, according to Meade’s arrest warrant affidavit. Most of the messages contained direct threats against David Benedict, UConn's director of athletics, the warrant stated. The messages caused Benedict to “fear for his physical safety,” investigating officer Dean Vertefeuille wrote in the affidavit, as reported by CT Insider.

Police could not determine the author’s identity based on the information included in the web form because the person had entered fictitious names and email addresses, the affidavit said.

The first of the messages was received on Oct. 18 and aired a list of complaints about UConn's basketball program, alleging that the author was “fed up” with Benedict and had been turned away from the school's First Night despite having season tickets, among other claims.

“Benedict better be gone in 72 hours or he will have an untimely accident and you will be responsible,” read the final line, the affidavit said.

Subsequent messages similar in tone and content were received Jan. 17, Jan. 19 and Feb. 14, according to the affidavit, though the fourth message did not directly threaten Benedict. 

The second message demanded that Benedict be fired within 48 hours and promised that a “world of hurt will be coming down upon the University of Connecticut,” according to the affidavit. Two days later, seemingly responding to Benedict’s continued employment at UConn, the third message included the lines, “Now you must face the consequences,” “Wake the hell up or else once again Benedict better be fired” and “DEATH IS COMING," the affidavit said.

At reported by CT Insider's Caroline Tien, Vertefeuille traced the IP addresses and determined the messages had been sent from computers at public libraries, including the Simsbury Public Library, West Hartford’s Noah Webster Library and the Avon Free Public Library, according to the affidavit. The Avon library was identified as the source of the Feb. 14 message, the affidavit said. With the permission of the director of the library, the affidavit said, Vertefeuille reviewed security camera footage from that day.

Vertefeuille discovered that Meade was familiar to ticket office staff and had been known to voice his displeasure when UConn lost or when he had an issue with the facilities, the affidavit said. 

While examining the photos at Vertefeuille’s request, a library employee identified one of the subjects as Meade, a regular patron, according to the affidavit. When asked if Meade had any known connection to UConn, the employee said he was a UConn sports fan and became "upset" when the university’s athletic teams lost games, the affidavit said.

When interviewed by Vertefeuille at his apartment on Feb. 17, Meade appeared to admit to sending the messages to the UConn president's office, but said he did not intend to follow through on any of the threats and had only sought attention, according to the affidavit. He described the menacing remarks as “just venting," the affidavit said.

UConn won the NCAA men's basketball championship on April 3, defeating San Diego State, 76-59. It was the Huskies' fifth national title since 1999.

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