Man Accused of Shorewood Bomb Threats Pleads Guilty
Thomas Yela, 50, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of creating a bomb scare, after he called police and an intervention center in August, and threatened to blow up Shorewood's River Park apartments and the Locust Street bridge.
The 50-year-old Milwaukee man charged with threatening to blow up a Shorewood apartment building and a bridge in Milwaukee pleaded guilty on Monday, according to online court records.
Thomas Yela was charged Aug. 31, after he called in bomb threats, prompting police to evacuate Village Hall, and some 600 residents from the River Park Apartments in Shorewood on Aug. 27.
According to the criminal complaint, Yela phoned an intervention hotline and told an employee he strapped bombs to two of the apartment buildings and it would be up to police to figure out which ones. Milwaukee County Sheriff’s bomb squad dogs combed the buildings and no bombs were found.
He also said he was going to blow up the Locust Street bridge just because he felt like it. Shorewood police say Yela also threatened to blow up the Shorewood courthouse, which is located in Village Hall.
Police say the man's name came up on caller ID when he made the calls, and being known to police, he was spotted sitting on his bicycle outside the scene at the River Park apartments and subsequently taken into custody.
Yela told authorities he had to make the threats otherwise no one would listen to him about how a woman who lives in the apartments was treating his friend Bob, according to the criminal complaint. He said he called 911 because Shorewood police wouldn’t do anything, so he wanted to get the proper agency and the FBI involved so they start an investigation into the woman.
Yela also told police he planned to blow up the apartment building using 700 pounds of ammonium nitrate, five drums of used garbage oil, mercury and shotgun shells.
Yela faces up to 3 ½ years in prison and $10,000 in fines. He will be sentenced on Jan. 31.