Photo (Courtesy CCSU)
By Justin Muszynski
The man charged in June with threatening to kill people at CCSU unless officials fired his former girlfriend has been sentenced to three years in prison.
A phone call made by Ruffino Cotto-Martinez, 47, caused the University to go into lockdown for more than an hour June 13 as police worked to locate him and bring him into custody.
Cotto-Martinez pleaded guilty to first-degree threatening and was sentenced Oct. 4.
On June 13, CCSU police received a phone call from Cotto-Martinez in which he expressed his dismay that the school still employed his ex-girlfriend, Vangie Vasquez, even after he attempted to get her fired, court documents said.
“Excuse me, you no put out Vangie Vasquez, I go to university killing everybody, OK,” said Cotto-Martinez, according to court documents.
The school quickly notified students, faculty and neighboring homes via text messages, e-mails and a post on its website of the situation advising them to lock their doors and dial 911 in case of an emergency.
After about an hour-and-a-half, the lockdown was lifted as the school announced that the police had located Cotto-Martinez in Willimantic after working with AT&T to find him through his mobile phone. He was apprehended, and while being brought back to the CCSU Police Department, “became combative and had to be physically restrained,” according to court documents.
Cotto-Martinez was also convicted in July 2011 of threatening in the second-degree and harassment for a similar incident in which he bothered Vasquez. He was sentenced to one year in jail suspended after 120 days as well as two years of probation.
According to court documents, Cotto-Martinez’s probation officer was already in the process of citing him for violation of his probation because of complaints by Vasquez saying that he had harassed her several times days before calling CCSU. One of his probation stipulations stated that he was not to have any contact with her. Vasquez reported Cotto-Martinez was calling and texting her repeatedly as well as waiting outside her apartment. He also failed to report to the halfway house that he was assigned to, according to court documents.
CCSU declined to comment about Cotto-Martinez’s most recent conviction.
He was originally charged with an act of terrorism, threatening in the second-degree, criminal mischief and refusal to be finger-printed. Instead he pleaded guilty to first-degree threatening in exchange for a three-year prison sentence followed by two years of special parole.