Ghanaian comedian arrested in US over terrorist prank

US-based Ghanaian comedian and internet sensation, Kelvin Asiedu, popularly known as Mr Cocoyam, has been arrested and processed for court on May 30 over a prank that went wrong.

Mr Cocoyam, 25, who lives in Bronx, has been charged with making a ‘terroristic threat’ in connection with a backpack he left inside the Culinary Institute of America during a Marist College musical performance, Hyde Park police told Poughkeepsiejournal.com

According to a press release by Chief Robert Benson, the police were alerted on Sunday over a “dangerous situation” at the CIA, adding that Mr Cocoyam had entered the CIA’s Marriott Pavilion and was acting suspiciously.

The school was reportedly hosting Marist College’s Harmony on the Hudson event when the incident happened.

Marist spokesperson Julia Fishman said in a press statement that the event consisted of two concerts at the CIA’s Ecolab Auditorium in the Marriott Pavilion and the incident occurred at the end of the first concert, which began at noon.

The police said Mr Cocoyam was carrying a backpack and walked to the front of the venue, sat down, remained seated, got up and left the backpack on the seat, exited the row and stood in the aisle staring at the stage.

He reportedly refused to sit down when the CIA security and members of the audience who were retired or off-duty law enforcement officers approached him.

The crowd grew nervous and began to evacuate.

Mr Cocoyam, in his defence, told the police that his “actions were intended to cause alarm”. He was nabbed following his statement alongside two other people. They were detained and questioned but not charged. The backpack was later found to contain only paper.

In addition to the felony terrorist charge, he was charged with criminal nuisance, a misdemeanour; and disorderly conduct, a violation. He was sent to Dutchess County Jail on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond and released early Monday morning on bail.


Mr Cocoyam was scheduled to appear in Hyde Park Court on Wednesday. But Court Clerk Jessica Edwards said that court appearance was adjourned because he posted bail and was released.

CIA spokesman Jeff Levine said Mr Cocoyam has never been a student at the school.

“Both Marist and the CIA are cooperating with the police in this matter as they investigate,” read a message to the Marist community from Deborah DiCaprio, Marist’s vice president of student affairs, and John Blaisdell, Marist’s director of security. “We greatly appreciate the coordinated efforts of the Hyde Park Police Department and the CIA security office.”

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