Rick Bomer / AP
SALT LAKE CITY – A University of Utah student was arrested Wednesday on charges of making terroristic threats and alleged that police would have detonated a nuclear reactor if the school’s football team failed to win a game last Saturday. threatened to do.
The charges, filed in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, allege that a 21-year-old student made threats before Utah’s game against San Diego State University on Saturday, warning that he would “detonate a nuclear reactor located at the University of Utah.” was going to cause a mass destruction.”
These threats were reportedly posted on Yickyak, a social media platform that allows users to post anonymously and which rose to prominence on college campuses a decade ago.
According to the charging documents, the student had studied engineering and had knowledge of the university’s nuclear reactor.
The University of Utah is one of more than two dozen US universities with nuclear engineering programs that use reactors for faculty and student research.
The university said in a statement Thursday that the reactor has been secured and that campus law enforcement has protocols in place to ensure there are no violations. Officials said the student, who did not wish to be named, admitted to the threat and told investigators on Wednesday it was meant as a joke.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for threats like this,” said University of Utah Police Chief Jason Hinojosa.
Court records did not list a lawyer representing the student. Calls made to the phone number of his family’s listed home on Thursday went unanswered.
Utah beat San Diego State 35-7 in Saturday’s game.