Man behind Conn. gun scare pleads not guilty

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Associated Press

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 14 at 12:03 PM

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to weapons charges stemming from a gun scare at the University of New Haven last month.

William Dong entered the plea Tuesday in Milford Superior Court on state charges including illegal possession of an assault weapon, said his attorney, Fred Paoletti.

The 23-year-old Dong also was charged last week by federal authorities with unlawful transport of a semi-automatic Bushmaster rifle. An agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said in an affidavit that Dong told him that he bought the rifle in Pennsylvania in September.

Authorities say Dong was carrying two loaded handguns on campus on Dec. 3 and had the Bushmaster and bullets in his car parked nearby. The campus was locked down more than four hours as police arrested Dong and searched the school grounds.

Police say they found 2,700 rounds of ammunition and newspaper clippings about the Colorado theater shooting at Dong's home.

Police say they aren't sure why Dong brought the guns to campus and his attorney has not commented. Dong has been detained since his arrest and is no longer a university student.

A judge earlier ordered a mental health evaluation. Dong is due back in state court on Feb. 13.

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