Criminal complaint reveals new details in Dubuque university social media threats incident

Clarke University said its campus is closed until further notice due to an active social media...
Clarke University said its campus is closed until further notice due to an active social media threat to its community.(KCRG)
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 12:30 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - The Dubuque Police Department has released the criminal complaint, revealing new details in an incident that caused the lockdown of Clarke University earlier this month.

The university said it was over threats of violence made on social media. Police later arrested Rashaud Colbert, 23, in a Chicago suburb, in connection to the incident.

The criminal complaint in this case says Dubuque County Dispatch received a report on Aug. 7 at about 10:34 p.m. of a person, later identified as Colbert, threatening to shoot the president of Clarke University and other buildings on campus.

Police said Colbert is a former student of the university.

In the criminal complaint, police report the initial call was taken by a Mercy Hospital nurse who happened to be working with two nurses who were graduates from Clarke University. The nurses said they saw that Colbert had posted threats on Instagram to shoot up several buildings at the university, as well as the university president.

About 20 minutes after the initial report came in, officials said they got another call from someone reporting having seen the threats against the college on Instagram.

Officials said this second caller, whose child attends the university, reported seeing a post that said, “Clarke do you want to play a game” and “which building should we air out first,” along with an image of a gun and a list of buildings on the university’s campus.

Just before 1 a.m. on Aug. 8, law enforcement contacted the university’s student life president, who said she had received multiple calls from parents and students regarding the threats, and that the university’s president had been made aware of the situation.

The university ultimately decided to announce a campus-wide lockdown over the threats by a little before 8 a.m. later that morning.

Police arrested Colbert that morning in the Chicago suburb of Darien, Illinois, on a warrant charging Threat of Terrorism.

The announcement of normal operations resuming went out a little before noon.

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