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Islip bomb threat suspect appears in court

Ronald Kellman, 41, of Central Islip, is accused

Ronald Kellman, 41, of Central Islip, is accused of calling Islip Town Hall on four separate occasions and making bomb threats. Each time, the building was evacuated. Kellman pleaded not guilty Saturday and bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond for each of the four counts of falsely reporting an incident that he faces. (July 28, 2012) Credit: Stringer News Service

The Central Islip man police say phoned bomb threats to Islip Town Hall made the calls because he was afraid the town was going to foreclose or auction the house he lived in, Suffolk police said.

Ronald Kellman, 41, of 230 Ackerman St., was arrested Friday and charged with four felony counts of falsely reporting an incident.

Kellman pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Suffolk County Judge Paul Hensley in First District Court in Central Islip Saturday and was ordered to be held on $200,000 cash bail, or $400,000 bond.

Hensley also ordered a mental health evaluation of Kellman, who told the court that he works as a sound engineer.

At the arraignment, a prosecutor said Kellman on four occasions called Town Hall on Main Street and told the operator that a bomb was in the building. Kellman called from pay phones on Nov. 17, Jan. 11, May 23 and June 12, police said. Each time, the building was evacuated.

Police said they cracked the case when a Suffolk police officer recognized Kellman's voice from recordings of the calls. Kellman agreed to be questioned and admitted to making the threats, police said.

Suffolk police said Saturday that Kellman told investigators he made the threats on days he believed the home would be sold off. But a search of property records shows another person owns the home. Kellman's wife, Alisa, said she owns the house with her husband and two others.

Inez Birbiglia, a town spokeswoman, said she didn't know the status of the property and likely wouldn't be able to check until Monday.

Alisa Kellman said her husband had not mentioned being angry with the town, and she said she didn't know about a possible foreclosure or eviction.

"I'm just in shock," she said. "It doesn't sound like him at all . . . He's a good family man."

Meanwhile, town officials said they were relieved there has been an arrest in the case.

Islip Town Councilman Steven Flotteron said he didn't know Kellman, but he felt a "sigh of relief" after hearing about the arrest. "Employees will be relieved," he said.

Town Clerk Olga Murray also didn't know Kellman and shared Flotteron's feelings. "I am very comforted," she said.

The prosecutor said that Kellman was convicted of petty larceny in March 2002, and court documents say he spent 30 days in prison. He was also imprisoned for 6 months after he was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument and registration-plate display violation, court documents show. Some of those charges were later reduced.

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