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Meriden police investigate after man threatens library, refers to “Al Qaeda”

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MERIDEN — Police are investigating after a man claimed to be soliciting donations for “Al Qaeda” at the public library and made terrorist threats. 

Police responded to the library, 105 Miller St., around 4:50 p.m. Monday for a report of a disturbance. Police received information that a man was outside claiming to solicit money for Al Qaeda, according to a police report.

Karen Roesler, director of the library, said Tuesday that the man was inside the library and became disgruntled.  Along with claiming ties to Al Qaeda, Roesler said the man made derogatory statements about the country and city. A security guard called police and followed the man outside, where he continued to make threats before driving away in a car with out-of-state license plates. The security guard gave the license plate number to police. 

“The police came and checked out the building,” Roesler said, adding officers determined the man did not leave anything dangerous behind. “We asked the patrons to leave about 6 p.m.. Everyone was calm and it was handled well.”

Roesler said the library opened as usual Tuesday morning. She said the staff and patrons were phenomenal during the incident and thanked everyone for their cooperation. Police said the man was described as wearing a black T-shirt and glasses and had short, curly hair. He fled in a black Chrysler, last seen headed toward City Hall. 



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