“All of the elements were there to repeat what we’ve seen across the country,” Prince George’s Police Chief Mark Magaw said.
It was the first phone call, the second phone call, “the increasing tenor of the threat . . . the demeanor,” Deputy Chief Hank Stawinski said.
“The message here is if you call your business, if you call a loved one, if you call anybody and you threaten to do harm, kill people, we’re going to believe you,” he said.
Prescott remained at the Anne Arundel County Medical Center late Friday undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, as prosecutors weighed what charges, if any, to file against him.
As of Friday evening, he had not been arrested, and had not been charged with a crime, police said.
But when police went to take him into custody early Friday, they evacuated part of his apartment building, and moved in with a SWAT team, conflict negotiators and a search warrant.
Inside his third-level apartment in the 1600 block of Parkridge Circle, Prescott was detained without incident, and police said they found a small arsenal of weapons — more than 20 rifles, shotguns and pistols, and 40 steel boxes containing eight different types of ammunition.
Authorities are considering a number of state and federal charges.
The state charges, though, would be relatively minor because Prescott “didn’t ultimately do anything except make the phone calls,” a law enforcement official said.
Other officials said agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are still probing the origin of Prescott’s weaponry and he could face more serious federal gun charges if any turn out to be illegal. Police have determined that at least 13 were properly registered, Magaw said.
Police in Prince George’s, where Prescott had worked, and Anne Arundel County, where he lives, said they believed they averted a catastrophe.
“We can’t measure what was prevented here,” Magaw said. “But...we think a violent episode was avoided.”
According to police and investigative documents, Prescott had worked for a Capitol Heights branch of the government contracting company Pitney Bowes, but was in the process of being fired.
Pitney Bowes said in a statement that Prescott was an employee of a subcontractor to the company. He has not been on any Pitney Bowes property in more than four months.
The events began at 8 a.m. Monday, when Prescott’s supervisor called Prescott about a job matter and during the conversation Prescott apparently said several times, “I am a joker. I’m gonna load my guns and blow everybody up,” according to the police affidavit for a search warrant.
Prescott also said he would like to see his boss’s brains splattered on the sidewalk, the affidavit said.