By COLlive reporter
A message sent around via social media about a supposed terror threat is scaring parents in the Crown Heights community on Wednesday.
Many residents of the Brooklyn neighborhood received an alarming message via the social media platform Whatsapp on Wednesday, which claimed that “Buchurin were just sent home from school early today. They were told today by Shomrim there is a major threat in Crown Heights and terrorists will be in Crown Heights to take revenge, so people should stay inside.”
The message concluded with, “The NYPD got serious threats.”
Detective Vinny Martinos of the NYPD 71st Precinct told COLlive the statements are a complete lie and hoax.
“This seems to be some kind of a prank, by someone who wants to scare people,” he said. “Neither the NYPD or Shomrim have any knowledge or information of a credible threat.”
Gadi Hershkop, a Crown Heights Shomrim coordinator, denied that Shomrim had warned anyone about a threat to the neighborhood.
“Shomrim is not responsible for the false messages going around spreading panic in the neighborhood. It did not originate from our sources. We are not aware of any threat to our community as a whole,” he said.
This incident comes a day after a false Whatsapp message spread that a stabbing had taken place in 770 Eastern Parkway on Tuesday.
Yaacov Behrman, a community activist, said it seems that “somebody is purposely spreading false information, possibly for thrills. The fact that this has happened two days in a row is troublesome,” he said, noting that creating a hoax such as this is a criminal act.
Another community activist noted that messages on Whatsapp and social media should always be taken with a grain of salt. “Only trust statements from official organizations, the NYPD and trusted media outlets,” he said.