Whitesboro man crashes into airport gates, threatens Rome labs


A Oneida County man is under arrest and facing terrorism-related charges following a reported incident at the Oneida County airport today.

Rome Police Department Lt. Sharon Rood said officers were called to Rome Labs after receiving a complaint about someone threatening the facility.

Rome research lab photo credit: Google (image captured September 2021) via Google Maps (July 2022)

Rome research lab photo credit: Google (image captured September 2021) via Google Maps (July 2022)

In a written statement, Lt. Rood said: “Officers investigating the incident have learned that a man approached an AFRL [US Air Force Research Laboratory] security guard and became furious. The male suspect threatened to shoot people before leaving the scene in a van.”

While the Rome Police Department was investigating the incident, deputies from the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office were called to Bell Road North after receiving a report of “a vehicle that crashed into one of the doors of the ‘Oneida County Airport’.

Authorities quickly determined that a male suspect was behind both incidents.

A “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) notice, with a description of the male suspect and the vehicle he was driving, was issued and directed to local emergency responders.

The Utica Police Department then located the vehicle and its driver, and the suspect, identified as Edward A. Wolak, 34, of Whitesboro, was taken into UPD custody.

The Rome Police Department charged Wolak with the following:

  • Making a Terrorist Threat (Class D Crime)

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office charged Wolak with the following:

  • Second degree criminal mischief (Class D felony)
  • Third degree criminal mischief (Class E felony)

Since this posting, Wolak has been held for arraignment.

No physical injuries were reported as a result of the arrest.

Anyone with information that could be useful to the investigation is asked to call the police. Anonymous calls, emails and messages can also be left with Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers by dialing: 1-866-730-8477 (ADVICE)by visiting www.mohawkvalleycrimestoppers.com, or by using the P3 Tips Mobile App. All information received by Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers is 100% confidential.

[AUTHOR’S NOTE:   This post is for informational purposes and is based largely on information received from the Rome Police Department.  Regardless of any statements or photographs regarding potential evidence presented or accusations alleged, the reader is reminded that all suspects and arrested persons are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.  At the time of this posting no additional information is available.]

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