WASHINGTON (AP) — A man once exposed on MTV’s “Catfish” reality show about online scams was charged Wednesday with calling in fake threats against Metro stations, buses and trains in the nation’s capital.
Jerez Nehemiah Stone-Coleman, 20, who is also known as “Kidd Cole,” was arrested Wednesday at his southeast Washington home on charges of making terroristic threats against Metro stations, buses and trains, Metro Transit Police said in a news release.
Stone-Coleman appeared on “Catfish” last year, in an episode that showed him pretending to be a big-time musician.
Stone-Coleman was in custody Wednesday, and it is not yet clear if he has an attorney. Calls to numbers listed for family members went unanswered.
In a complaint, investigators said Stone-Coleman called 911 on 11 occasions to report bomb threats or hostage situations since December, including reports of plans to take hostages on a Metro bus for a $15 million ransom. Not long after terrorist attacks in Paris in January, one caller reported learning of plans from people “from France” to ambush the president’s motorcade and assassinate the president. And in February, a caller made a false report that a man wearing all black clothing near the U.S. Capitol was brandishing a sniper rifle and threatened to blow up a bus.
“We have no greater responsibility than protecting Metro’s customers and employees,” Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik said in a news release. “This case demonstrates the seriousness with which we take all threats and the lengths to which we will go to bring those responsible to justice.”
These calls prompted emergency responses by Metro Transit Police and other law enforcement agencies, but the threats turned out to be “wholly false,” according to the complaint. Detectives used cellphone records, surveillance video from stations and buses and telephone audio to identify Stone-Coleman, police said.
Last year, Stone-Coleman was charged with identity fraud in Richmond after authorities said he scammed Virginia Commonwealth University by promising to put on an event involving hip-hop artist Big Sean. On Dec. 5, Stone-Coleman entered a guilty plea to reduced misdemeanor charges that resulted in a suspended jail sentence.
Within a week of that guilty plea is when Metro Transit Police say Stone-Coleman made the first of his 11 phony threats. The calls continued through May 12.
William Efird, a public defender who represented Stone-Coleman in the Richmond case, raised questions about his client’s competency in pretrial hearings, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Efird did return calls seeking comment Wednesday.
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