SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Patrick Dai, 21, a Cornell University junior from Pittsford, New York, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint accusing him of posting threats to kill or injure another person using interstate communications. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Alfred Watson, acting special agent in charge of the Albany field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); New York State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento; and Cornell University Police Chief Anthony Bellamy.
The complaint alleges that Dai posted threatening messages on the Cornell section of an online discussion site, including posts calling for the death of Jews and a post saying “I’m going to shoot up West 104th.” According to information provided by Cornell University Police and other public information, 104 West is a Cornell University dining hall that primarily serves kosher diets and is located next to the Cornell Jewish Center, which offers residence halls for Cornell students. In another post, Dai allegedly threatened to “stab” and “slit the throat” of any Jewish man he saw on campus, rape and throw any Jewish woman off a cliff, and behead any Jewish baby. In that same post, Dai threatened to “bring an assault rifle to campus and shoot all the Jewish pigs.” The charges and allegations in the complaint are mere accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The charge against Dai carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute he or she is accused of violating, the United States Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
Dai is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow in federal court in Syracuse, New York, before a United States magistrate judge.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), which includes the New York State Police, is investigating this case along with the Cornell University Police Department and the Ithaca Police Department. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York is prosecuting the case, along with the Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section.