Man charged with threatening University

by Hadas Gold

A former GW employee was arrested last week after he allegedly called a University office and made threats to "kill faculty and students," according to court documents and a Metropolitan Police Department report.

James Ripley Markley Jr., a former mailroom employee who has not worked at the University for several years, was arrested Feb. 15 after a GW employee reported that Markley made threats to the University community over the phone. He was charged Feb. 16 with one count of threatening to injure or kidnap a person - a felony - according to court documents.

Markley allegedly called a University office Feb. 4 and became angry after he was told that the person he asked to speak with no longer worked at the University, according to an affidavit in support of an arrest warrant. In that conversation, he spoke with a mumbling tone, cursed, and said he would "[wreak] havoc on the University and kill faculty and students," the affidavit states.

Asked for comment in an interview Friday, Markley said he did call the University, but denied making threats.

"I did not say those things to GW personnel. I did not say nothing of that sort," Markley said.

Markley was released from custody Feb. 16 and was ordered to stay away from the University, according to court documents. A University Crime Alert sent Thursday said that Markley is not currently wanted by law enforcement, but would be arrested if he enters campus. He must also report for a mental health assessment, court documents state, and is due for a preliminary hearing March 8. His attorney, David Cumberbatch, did not respond to phone calls over the weekend.

In a conversation with government personnel, Markley - a 53-year-old Northeast D.C. resident - said that University staff members are "meddling" with his family members and trying to take his house from him, according to the affidavit. The document states that Markley also said there is practice of "Satanic Cult and Klan meetings" at the University.

Markley said Friday that he stopped working for the University in 1992, and said he left on his own terms.

Assistant University Police Chief Frank Demes said UPD issued the Crime Alert as a precaution, and said that the University is not sure why Markley made the alleged threats. He added that UPD may increase its presence in areas where Markley had contact with faculty or staff.

The person Markley spoke with on the phone, whose name is being withheld due to privacy concerns, declined to comment.

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