Tucson police identify man wanted in hoax bomb threats

Tucson police identify man wanted in hoax bomb threats

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson police have identified the suspect in 18 hoax bomb threats that were made around the city in the past two weeks.

Sgt. Kim Bay, spokeswoman for the Tucson Police Department, said a felony arrest warrant has been issued for 42-year-old Octavio Acosta.

He has been accused of allegedly calling in threats to health centers, churches, schools and government buildings. Several of the buildings had to be evacuated and business or classes were disrupted for several hours.

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Acosta has been described as Hispanic, 5'10", 150 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes.

Acosta's prior records show he was charged with intimidation/threat/harassment with a phone in March 1996. That case was later dismissed by the court.

Bay said Acosta could be armed and if anyone sees him, they should call 911 immediately.

Acosta's facing charges of hoax, interference with an educational institution, and false reporting. Bay said additional charges are pending.

Bay said the Marana Police Department, Pima County Sheriff's Department, Department of Public Safety and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force assisted in the investigation.

Bay said all types of threats are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated by law enforcement.

"This is all very serious. Someone may think it's just a prank, or I'm mad at this person, or I'm mad at the school, or I don't like this business. It is a very serious offense. And we're going to take it very seriously and investigate it fully with the resources that we have and hold this people accountable," Bay said.

Anyone with information about Acosta's whereabouts should call 88-CRIME.

"(The department) takes all threats seriously and works diligently to ensure the safety of our citizens," the TPD said in a news release. "Each and every one of these incidents is thoroughly investigated. If it is determined that a person intentionally or knowingly engaged in any conduct that is likely to give the impression that an act of terrorism is taking place or will take place and causes an emergency response, that person may face felony charges. In addition, per Arizona Revised Statutes, that person may be liable for any expenses for the emergency response and the investigation of the hoax."

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