Student arrested for allegedly making nuclear threat unless Utes won
SALT LAKE CITY — A University of Utah student who police say threatened to detonate a nuclear reactor if the Utes’ football team didn’t win on Saturday has been arrested.
The 21-year-old woman was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday for investigation of making a threat of terrorism.
On Saturday, the University of Utah football team hosted San Diego State at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The woman “posted threats of violence” on the Yik Yak app before the game, stating that “if the football team did not win the game, (she) was going to detonate the nuclear reactor that is located in the University of Utah causing a mass destruction,” according to a police booking affidavit.
Police note in their affidavit that the student does have knowledge of the nuclear reactor and “is aware of where the reactor is located and attends class in the same building where the reactor is housed.”
Although the student said her statement was meant as a joke, “we have a zero-tolerance policy for these kinds of threats,” U. Police Chief Jason Hinojosa said.
Hinojosa noted the U.’s nuclear reactor is secured and alarmed and police have unique protocols for managing any breach of the facility.
The arrest comes just a few weeks after a 19-year-old U. student was arrested for investigation of the same crime after he also allegedly used the Yik Yak app to make a bomb threat directed at the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building. When that student was arrested he said the alleged threats were a joke and that he had no intention of carrying out the threat.
Charges in that case have been referred to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
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