Home Searched After "Joker" Threat Made

Neil Edwin Prescott was admitted to Anne Arundel Medical Center Saturday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Shomari Stone has the latest after Prince George's County Police say a 'violent' episode was avoided

    The Maryland man who allegedly called himself "a joker" and said he wanted to "blow everybody up" has been admitted to an Annapolis hospital after being evaluated by a doctor.

    The Prince George's County State's Attorney Office announced on its Twitter feed Saturday morning that Neil Edwin Prescott, 28, of Crofton, had been admitted to Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. The feed noted that Prescott could be hospitalized for up to one week.

    Police from several jurisdictions searched Prescott's home in Crofton, Md., Thursday night after alleged threats referencing the "Joker" were made earlier in the week.

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    According to the warrant, Prescott, 28, made the threat toward his employer during a phone call Monday morning when a supervisor contacted him about a work-related matter, then made similar statements in a separate conversation about 15 minutes later, and acknowledged, “It's kind of foolish of me to say this kind of things over government phone.”

    Law enforcement sources told News4 Prescott's employer -- a subcontractor for Pitney Bowes -- was ready to fire him. Prescott was upset about the prospect of losing his job and said, "I'm gonna load my guns and blow everybody up," and that he wanted to see the supervisor's "brain splatter all over the sidewalk," according to a search warrant.

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    Law enforcement sources told News4's Pat Collins that Prescott made threats -- saying something to the effect of, "You don' t know who the real Joker is; I am the real Joker." When Pitney Bowes heard this alleged threat, they called authorities.

    The man who said he received the threat did not wish to speak about it, his son said.

    "We can't measure what was prevented here, but was going on over the last 36 hours was a significant incident in the county. And we think a violent episode was avoided,” Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw said.

    Authorities checked a police database and found that Prescott had about 13 guns. They obtained a warrant and searched his home Thursday night. Anne Arundel County Police, Prince George's County Police and the ATF were involved in the search.

    Federal officials say several firearms were removed from the home, including three 9mm handguns, a .357 revolver and several other rifles and shotguns.

    Prescott was groggy when police made contact, and was wearing a shirt that read, "Guns don't kill people, I do."

    He has not been charged, or arrested -- rather, he is being evaluated in a local medical facility in Anne Arundel County. Charges are pending.

    Police and ATF officers said they were withholding some information as they consider "all possible charges, state or federal."

    It wasn't immediately clear when the threat was to be carried out or how seriously it was meant to be taken, but last week's mass shooting at a Colorado theater during the latest Batman movie -- coupled with the “Joker” reference -- put police especially on edge and gave the comments extra urgency, officials said.

    "In light of what happened a week ago in Aurora Colo., it's important to know, (for) the community to know, that we take all threats seriously. And if you're going to make a threat, we will take action,” Magaw said.

    Though there's no other indication of a link to the Colorado shooting, police believe the joker comments Prescott made were a “clear reference” to the killings, the warrant says. The man accused in those shootings, James Holmes, reportedly called himself the Joker and had his hair dyed reddish-orange, not the Joker’s more traditional green, when he was arrested.

    Pitney Bowes issued the following statement:

    "The suspect ... is an employee of a subcontractor to Pitney Bowes. At Pitney Bowes we have clear security protocol and when we had concerns about this individual, we contacted authorities." A spokeswoman later added, "He has not been on any Pitney Bowes property in more than four months."

    Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more information.