Not guilty verdict in Fairfield U. trial

(07/15/03) BRIDGEPORT - A Bridgeport man accused of holding a Fairfield University class hostage with a fake bomb last year was found not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday. Patrick Arbelo waived a jury trial and chose a trial by a single judge.

The Superior Court judge cited the testimony of psychiatrists, who said the 25-year-old suffers from a mental illness that manifests itself in a hatred of Jews and non-whites.

Police say Arbelo walked into a classroom with a knapsack and a box with protruding wires, telling students he had a bomb. Over the course of seven hours, the 27 hostages were released unharmed, and Arbelo eventually surrendered to police without incident.

The judge ordered Arbelo committed to the custody of the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for further evaluation. He is scheduled to be back in court October 15.

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