ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The person of interest involved in the Cornell antisemitic threats has been identified.
According to United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, 21-year-old Patrick Dai of Pittsford, NY, a junior at Cornell University, was arrested Tuesday on a federal criminal complaint charging him with posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Alfred Watson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); New York State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento; and Cornell University Police Chief Anthony Bellamy.
According to the federal criminal complaint, Dai allegedly posted threatening messages to the Cornell section of an online discussion site. Those messages allegedly included posts calling for the deaths of Jewish people and a post that said “gonna shoot up 104 west.”
The dining hall 104 West at Cornell University caters predominantly to Kosher diets and is located next to the Cornell Jewish Center, which provides residences for Cornell students, according to information from Cornell University Police and other public information.
In another post, Dai allegedly “threatened to ‘stab’ and ‘slit the throat’ of any Jewish males he sees on campus, ‘to rape and throw off a cliff’ any Jewish females, to ‘behead any Jewish babies’ and to ‘bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all you pig jews.'”
According to Freedman, a charge filed against Dai carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years.
Dai is expected to make his initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in Syracuse, NY, before a United States Magistrate Judge.
A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors. The charges and the allegations in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) — which includes the New York State Police — as well as the Cornell University Police Department and the Ithaca Police Department are investigating this case.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York is prosecuting the case, in conjunction with the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice.