Officials: Student Charged in Phone Call That Prompted Valparaiso Alert

Normal operations resumed at about 11 p.m., three hours after a campus alert told students to avoid a building on the university's south side

Officials at Valparaiso University on Wednesday said a student was charged in connection with a phone call that prompted a campus alert Tuesday evening.

Michael Clemens, 20, of Chesterton, Indiana was arrested and charged with felony intimidation and felony false reporting causing an evacuation, according to a release from the Valparaiso Police Department.

Clemens allegedly called police and told them he had taken hostages, was armed with a gun and was in the school's library.

The call prompted officials to issue an alert telling students to avoid the building on the university's south side.

"Police activity at the Christopher Center. Stay clear of that area until further notice. Shelter in place," said a message posted to Twitter at 8 p.m.

Personnel from multiple agencies, including the Valparaiso University Police Department, the Valparaiso Police Department, the Porter County Sheriff's Department, and the Indiana State Police responded to the campus and setup a mobile command center.

Campus police told NBC Chicago there were no injuries. Students, however, posted messages to social media accounts about a possible shooting or hostage situation.

Officials said there was no evidence of a shooting or hostage situation but warned students until late in the night to stay away from the Christopher Center Library, at 1410 Chapel Dr., while the investigation was ongoing. 

Normal operations on the Northwest Indiana campus resumed at about 11 p.m., three hours after the alert.

Clemens, a university student, was found on the campus at nearby Gellersen Hall and allegedly admitted during an interview with police that he made the phone call. 

The library was expected to reopen for regular hours Wednesday.

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