This is why I try to discriminate against anyone born in the
An Ontario College of Art and Design student was suspended and charged yesterday after a bogus bomb threat forced the cancellation of a AIDS-research fundraiser at the Royal Ontario Museum.
And two OCAD faculty members were suspended with pay while the school launched an investigation into the “incredibly awful” hoax, said OCAD president Sara Diamond last night.
Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson, 25, an Integrated Media student at OCAD, yesterday told blogs and TV news that he was the student who left the phoney pipe bomb in a bag outside the ROM’s Bloor St. W. entrance as part of an art project.
At about 8 p.m. last night, accompanied by his lawyer, Jonsson turned himself in to Toronto Police 52 Division. He was charged with one count of common nuisance and a count of mischief.
Jonsson told the website torontoist.com yesterday that the fake bomb was part of an project for his third-year video production class, but he didn’t expect things to “go so crazy.”
Police sealed off the streets surrounding the museum after locating the fake bomb at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, forcing the cancellation of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research’s (CANFAR) $600-a-plate black-tie gala.
Jonsson told torontoist.com he left a note on the bag that read “This is not a bomb,” and said that he’d been advised by an OCAD Student Union lawyer against deceiving people of the bomb’s legitimacy. He then used a payphone to call an employee inside the ROM, saying that the bag didn’t contain a bomb.
“I dialed up the ROM and they asked for an extension and I hadn’t really thought that far, so I typed in some random last name and I ended up reaching some girl at the ROM and I simply told her, ‘Listen, there’s no bomb by the entrance to the museum,’ and then I hung up.”
Jonsson told the blog he then went back to class at 5 p.m. and revealed the extent of his project. He said he hadn’t told his teachers until the night the fake bomb was placed. Under the username ‘toadmeat,’ Jonsson then posted videos on youtube of the “Fake footage of the fake bombing at the ROM, Toronto” and “The fake bombing at the ROM, Toronto, 28.11.07.”
Yesterday, OCAD president Sara Diamond said one student was suspended for non-academic misconduct and two part-time instructors involved in the video course were suspended with pay while the school investigates.
Diamond said the school is cooperating closely with police, who last night were investigating the possibility of laying charges.
Diamond also said it appears the two faculty members who were suspended had no prior knowledge of the student’s intentions, but said the suspensions were a formality for the school during such investigations.
“I think the entire institution (OCAD) was caught off-guard, and certainly the faculty appear to have been caught off-guard,” Diamond said.
Diamond also said a female student who appears in the video was “extremely distressed” she was in the videos posted to youtube, and that the student appeared to be an “unwitting participant” in the art project.
Yesterday morning, Diamond called CANFAR, the ROM, and Toronto Police to apologize on behalf of the school.
“This is an incredibly awful event that’s happened,” Diamond said in an interview last night.
Jonsson is scheduled to appear for a bail hearing in the Old City Hall courts today at 10 a.m.