BUCKS COUNTY, Pa (BCDAO) – A 43-year-old Bensalem woman was charged on Monday, August 14, 2023, with filing more than 100 false 911 calls over a 9-month period and making 13 threats of violence to Bucks County district judges, the Bristol Township Police Department, a county employee, and other locations and public gatherings.
Valerie Joy Travis was charged with felony counts of terroristic threats, criminal use of a communication facility and unlawful use of a computer, and misdemeanor counts of terroristic threats and violation of emergency communication services.
She was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Gallagher and was sent to Bucks County Correctional Facility under $750,000 bail. The charges are the culmination of an investigation by the Bensalem Township Police Department, the Bristol Township Police Department and Bucks County Detectives.
The investigation found that the Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications received 116 911 reports, either by a phone call or text message, from a phone belonging to Travis between August 16, 2022, and May 30, 2023.
All the reports were determined to be unfounded, however each one required action by the Department of Emergency Communications and law enforcement. Travis also made 13 threats of mass shootings or explosions by submitting electronic tips to the FBI National Threat Operations Center, the Bristol Township Police Crimewatch page and the Bensalem Township Police Crimewatch page.
These threats were submitted between April 28, 2023, and August 1, 2023. Four of those threats were directed toward Magisterial District Judge Kevin P. Wagner Sr., and his Bath Road courthouse in Bristol Township, leading to an evacuation on May 30. About 20 people evacuated the courthouse, which led to the continuation of an eviction hearing involving Travis’s mother. Responding law enforcement searched the building and immediate area, and after nothing was located, determined the threat to be unfounded.
The investigation also found that Travis submitted threats against two other Magisterial District courthouses, an employee with the Bucks County Department of Human Services, the Bristol Township Police Department, two Bristol Township motels where Travis had lived with her mother, Philadelphia City Hall, and LGBTQ/Pride events.
Investigators analyzed cellphone data and other electronic evidence to confirm that the calls, text messages and online threats were made by Travis. Law enforcement in Bucks County take every threat seriously and ensured the public’s safety by ruling out any actual danger existed from these threats.
This investigation was conducted by Detectives with the Bensalem Township Police Department, the Bristol Township Police Department and Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Megan Hunsicker.
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