A suspected client or former client of the Devereux Medical Center on UCSB’s West Campus left a bomb threat on the center’s answering machine sometime late Dec. 29 or early Dec. 30, according to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.
The caller, who police suspect is a teenage boy disguising his voice by speaking in the style of cartoon character Elmer Fudd, threatened to blow up the building on New Year’s Eve. Center staff told police the suspect somehow gained access to the telephone system and changed the answering machine’s welcome message to the bomb threat.
Sheriff’s deputies advised the medical center staff to do a thorough walk-through of the building, but the staff found no suspicious items.
Employees noticed the threat when they returned to work on Dec. 30 and checked their voicemail messages, police reports state.
Although Devereux center staff said this is not the first time they have received telephoned threats, staff told police they took this particular threat very seriously because somebody stole gasoline from the center’s gardener several weeks ago, and that gasoline is still missing.
According to the Devereux Foundation website, Devereux Santa Barbara “…is a thriving treatment network helping developmentally disabled persons who may have concurrent emotional, neurological or medical needs.”
The school and medical center, which began in 1945, provides educational programs, vocational training and living assistance to disabled individuals and their families. The organization runs a similar facility in San Diego and several others throughout the United States.