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Former college student accused in bomb threat

A Saint Leo University security officer says he recognized the voice of the Turkish citizen, who had been expelled.

By CHASE SQUIRES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 10, 2003

A former Saint Leo University student was arrested this week, accused of making at least one of several bomb threats reported at the school late last year, according to court records.

Mehmet Emir Bozbey, 21, of Tampa was arrested Monday at the University of South Florida by campus police armed with Pasco County warrants accusing him of making a bomb threat.

He was also arrested on drug warrants, but court papers did not detail drug allegations. Pasco County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll said information on those cases was not available, and the detective in charge was out of the office Thursday.

According to the affidavit laying out the case against Bozbey, the Turkish citizen was expelled in 2001 from Saint Leo University for drug violations.

Sheriff's Detective Phillip Latacz told Circuit Judge Wayne Cobb in the affidavit that a call came to the university security office Dec. 19. The caller claimed there was a bomb in the school and said he didn't want anyone to be hurt.

School security officer Robert Beasley recognized Bozbey's voice, the affidavit states.

Cobb signed the warrant for his arrest the next day. Doll said the FBI was also involved in the investigation.

Court records show there might have been four other related bomb threats at the university. At least one required some buildings to be evacuated in December.

Last spring, Bozbey contacted the St. Petersburg Times and told a reporter he had been a victim of discrimination at the school since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. School officials denied the allegations and offered to open Bozbey's school records to a reporter, if Bozbey signed a privacy waiver.

Bozbey agreed to sign the waiver at first, then ended his contact with the Times.

In an interview before he broke off contact, Bozbey was living in an apartment complex off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in Hillsborough County.

He said he came from a good family in Turkey and was not a violent person.

He said he was majoring in international studies.

He was booked Monday into a Hillsborough County jail in lieu of $500,500 bail on charges of manufacture, possession and delivery of a controlled substance, driving under the influence and possession or threatened use of a weapon of mass destruction.

On Thursday, he was transferred to the Pasco County jail in Land O'Lakes where he was being held without bail.

His case file indicates immigration officials also are investigating.

-- Chase Squires covers courts in east Pasco. He can be reached at (352) 521-5757, ext. 27, or toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6108, then 27. His e-mail address is .

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