National News

Utah school evacuated after suspect makes threats; none hurt

Posted September 20

— A Utah man accused of forcing the evacuation of an elementary school with what he claimed was a trunk full of explosives has been arrested and booked into jail, police said.

After three hours of negotiations, no explosives were found and no injuries were reported at the school, located about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City. About 250 students, along with faculty, were evacuated from Eagle Valley Elementary on Monday afternoon.

The suspect, Christopher Dewitt Craig, 35, of Eagle Mountain, was described as a former college basketball coach and player.

Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said Craig complained about "the evils of society, how there's mistreatment, but he didn't say what kind of mistreatment." A precise motive is still being investigated and may be related to mental health issues, he said.

No attorney was immediately listed for Craig in court records, and no publicly listed phone number for him was immediately available.

The incident began when a man entered the school about 2:15 p.m., and told the front office secretary that he had explosives in the trunk of this car and to evacuate, Cannon said.

The man, who had parked his car within feet of the school entrance, had a towel of blanket wrapped around his head and some kind of knit face mask, Cannon said.

As the evacuation was carried out, about 85 to 100 officers surrounded the school. After talking with officers on a cellphone, the man gave a final, approximately two-minute-long statement before he laid down and was arrested, Cannon said.

Craig was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of making a threat of terrorism, interfering with an arresting officer, failure to disclose identity, disrupting operations of a school and disorderly conduct.

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