A Flanders man was charged with making a terroristic threat after police said he threatened to set fire to a Hampton Bays bank following what was described as "a minor dispute" with bank employees.
John Hudson, 55, of Priscilla Avenue, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Southampton Town Justice Court. It was not immediately clear if he was represented by counsel.
Southampton Town Police said the incident occurred just after 11 a.m. Wednesday, when Hudson "made a call to TD Bank Central Call Center" and "threatened to set fire" to the bank branch at 191 W. Montauk Hwy. in Hampton Bays. Alerted to the threat, police said bank employees started a lockdown procedure only to realize Hudson was already inside the bank. Employees then immediately contacted Southampton Town Police. Hudson was arrested following an investigation.
During that investigation, Southampton Town Police Det. Lt. James Kiernan said two rifles and ammunition were seized from Hudson's vehicle in the bank parking lot. Hudson legally possessed those rifles, police said, and Kiernan said they were removed to police headquarters solely because of the threat made by Hudson — and not because he had threatened to use the weapons in any way.
"He didn't make any threats with the weapons and he didn't show up at the bank with any means to set fire to the bank, but he did make a threat to set a fire," Kiernan said, noting that all action taken was precautionary based on that threat.
The nature of the dispute with bank employees was not characterized further by investigators.
There were no reported injuries in the incident.