Man Charged with Threatening to Blow Up Salisbury PD Headquarter - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Man Charged with Threatening to Blow Up Salisbury PD Headquarters

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SALISBURY, Md. - The Salisbury Police Department says detectives have  arrested a 24 year old man for threatening to blow up the Salisbury Police Department Headquarters.

Salisbury Police says on June 09, 2017, around 8:30 a.m., the Salisbury Police Department in North Carolina began receiving social media messages from an unknown suspect who was threatening to blow up what they initially thought was their police headquarters. Detectives in North Carolina began exchanging messages with the suspect and it was quickly learned that the suspect was targeting the Salisbury, Maryland Police Department.

As the investigation began to unfold, detectives from the North Carolina agency partnered with detectives from Salisbury. Investigators say the social media messaging continued through the North Carolina police department, and detectives from both agencies coordinated their investigative efforts throughout the morning hours.

Detectives reviewed evidence collected through social media, interviewed individuals, and collaborated with law enforcement personnel in the region, in an effort to identify and apprehend the suspect. Detectives say they were able to obtain information through social media which ultimately led to the identification of the suspect as Joshua B. Askins, 29, of Bridgeton, New Jersey.

Police say the investigation revealed that Askins had traveled from New Jersey to Maryland earlier in the week, in an attempt to reconcile his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Upon making contact with his ex-girlfriend in the city of Salisbury, Maryland, officer say his efforts to reconcile failed. They say Askins is alleged to have assaulted his former girlfriend and allegedly stole her cell phone.

Police say neither the robbery nor the assault were reported to them. They say Askins then used the stolen phone to “spoof” the Facebook account of his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. He then began sending bomb threat messages under the ‘spoofed’ account to our agency shortly after midnight. However, the account is not monitored around the clock and the messages were not received until after the investigation was under way.

Investigators say Askins began sending messages to the Facebook account of the Salisbury Police Department in North Carolina at approximately eight o’clock this morning. Officers and Detectives were able identify him and take him into custody without incident, during a traffic stop, which was conducted in the area of RT50 and Cypress Street at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Askins was subsequently released to Wicomico County Central Booking for an initial appearance.

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