UTICA — A Utica man charged with four felony counts of making a terroristic threat that forced Utica College to go on lockdown last week waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday in Utica City Court.
Fahrudin Omerovic, 23, of Utica, was in court briefly and his case now is headed to an Oneida County grand jury.
The threats led to the Utica College campus being locked down for several hours Monday, March 5, as law enforcement agencies searched campus buildings and evacuated students. Police still were on campus the next day when Omerovic reportedly called in more threats.
Utica College officials also confirmed last week that Omerovic, who was a senior at the school majoring in health studies, was served with a suspension notice and will be expelled from the college. He was taking classes online but also had access to the campus.
In court Monday, Omerovic parents were emotional. Their son was represented by a public defender last week but has since retained Utica attorney John Raspante.
Since his arrest, Omerovic has been in Oneida County jail on $100,000 cash bail or $250,000 bond.
While arguing for lower bail, Raspante said there were "no violations of the law prior to these allegations" by his client. The prosecution, however, argued due to "gridlock" caused in the community by Omerovic's alleged actions, the bail set by the court reflects the impact.
According to the college, on a typical day, there are roughly 2,490 undergraduate students who take classes at the Utica campus.
After consideration, city court Judge Christopher Giruzzi denied the request for reduced bail.
Conviction of a single count of making a terroristic threat carries a minimum sentence of two years and a maximum sentence of seven years.
Contact reporter Jolene Cleaver at 315-792-4956 or follow her on Twitter (@OD_Cleaver).