Sep 15, 2022 - Health

FBI arrests woman in connection to Boston Children's Hospital hoax bomb threat

A pedestrian passes outside Boston Children's Hospital on Feb. 26, 2020. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A Massachusetts woman was arrested for allegedly calling in a hoax bomb threat to Boston Children’s Hospital last month, the FBI announced Thursday.

The big picture: Boston Children's Hospital and other children’s hospitals have been under siege from far-right activists for providing health care for transgender and non-binary youth, Axios' Steph Solis reports.

Driving the news: Catherine Leavy of Westfield, Massachusetts, was charged with one count of making a false telephonic bomb threat, U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins announced in a news conference.

Background: On Aug. 30, the hospital received a call that said, in part, "There is a bomb on the way to the hospital. You better evacuate everybody, you sickos," according to Rollins.

  • The hospital and the surrounding area were placed on lockdown, and a bomb squad was dispatched. It was later determined that no explosive devices were located at the hospital.

Details: Investigators identified a T-Mobile account in connection to the call and determined the owner to be Leavy.

  • She was arrested at her home Thursday, and the phone was recovered, Rollins said.
  • Leavy will be held pending a detention hearing scheduled for Friday.

What they're saying: "This alleged conduct is disturbing to say the least," Rollins said. "The people that work at Children's Hospital, and the parents that bring their loved ones to Children's Hospital, are under enough stress."

  • "I have made confronting hate crimes a priority, and will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute individuals who cross the line of free speech and choose to inflict fear and intimidation with their words and actions," she added.

Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates

Go deeper