A New York man arrested in Avon on allegations that he made threatening phone calls to state officials and Newtown charity organizers made other disguised calls last year to someone he met on a retreat to Israel and previously claimed to be a victim of harassing calls himself, police said in the court files.
During an investigation into threatening calls to Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, of Avon, a New York Police Department detective told Avon police that the NYPD “had incidents” with suspect Jonathan Reich, 22, before at his Flushing, NY residence.
Reich made complaints to NYPD in 2009 that he was “being harassed through the telephone as someone was threatening to burn him,” according to the court affidavit.
Most recently, a fews later, Reich used a iPhone “spoofing” application to disguise his voice and alter his phone number on Caller ID and call Carver, State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance and others, police said.
While many of the people he called involved harassment tied to the Dec. 14 school shooting, he called one of the women through the spoofing app in November 2012, police said. Daniella Rosenblatt, a Facebook friend of Reich’s, told police that she remembered receiving “odd” calls from someone who wasn’t who he “was pretending to be.” She had met Reich, a former CUNY Queens College student, through a mutual friend on a school-sponsored trip to Israel, she told police. Reich harassed her and her roommate on the trip, Rosenblatt said.
“Rosenblatt remembers Reich as being very radical regarding his Jewish faith,” police said in the affidavit.
Reich referenced a Jewish victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in several calls to Carver and his office at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. He also claimed Carver lied about the cause of death of the children he did autopsies on in the calls and told him he was in trouble.
Police obtained Reich’s home phone number and the cell phone used to make the harassing calls after reviewing AT&T, Spoofcard.com and CUNY school records, according to the affidavit.
An Avon detective called Reich at home and he answered as “Dan,” refusing to answer questions about calls made through the spoofing company, the affidavit details. When asked about calls made to Carver, he used similar language to his Spoofcard call in a New York accent and hung up, police said. The detective called him back on his cell phone and asked him about the calls again. Reich told the officer that he didn’t mean to harass or harm anyone with the calls and said repeatedly that he “didn’t threaten anybody.”
Avon police are still investigating the case and Reich is scheduled to appear in Hartford Community Court on June 5.