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Deadly booby traps along Utah hiking trail targeted humans, officials say
InForUm ^ | April 26, 2012

Posted on 04/26/2012 12:10:43 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum

LAS VEGAS - In a case that stunned authorities with its ruthlessness, two Utah men have been arrested in connection with a pair of deadly booby traps along a popular hiking trail outside Provo.

LAS VEGAS - In a case that stunned authorities with its ruthlessness, two Utah men have been arrested in connection with a pair of deadly booby traps along a popular hiking trail outside Provo.

One of the traps featured a tripwire meant to send a 20-pound spiked boulder swinging into an unsuspecting victim. The other was designed to trip a passerby into a bed of sharpened wooden stakes.

The suspects, Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21, were arrested last weekend on suspicion of misdemeanor reckless endangerment and have been released on bail. They told investigators the traps were intended for wildlife.

But authorities discounted that explanation.

“When you look at those things, you just get chills down your spine,” Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. “One sends a rock the size of a football speeding at your head. The other is even more nightmarish. Walk into that trap and either you get the worst headache of your life or a stick through your eye.”

He added: “There's no question these traps were set for humans and that these suspects knew their deadly potential.”

The booby traps were set at entrances to a popular makeshift wooden shelter used by local hikers as a sleepover and campfire site, Cannon said. The traps took time and energy to erect, he said, and involved rope and heavy-duty fishing line along with rocks and sticks.

The traps were discovered earlier this month by James Schoeffler of the U.S. Forest Service, an officer with military training in Iraq and Afghanistan who was patrolling Big Springs Trail in Provo Canyon outside the city of Provo.

He noticed the tripwires not far from a popular trail head and suspected they were designed to catch hikers walking in the dark, Cannon said. “He has experience ... that told him something didn't look right,” he said.

Said Schoeffler in an interview Wednesday: “There was a large children's birthday party that day and there were kids running up and down the trail. ... The possibility of one of them finding the fort (and setting off the trip wires) was a very real possibility.”

Schoeffler disabled the traps after taking photos and video of the site. He said that the traps lacked in sophistication, but were deadly nonetheless: “They were extremely rudimentary, but it works.”

Cannon said investigators received a tip from a local hiker who told authorities the men had posted comments on Facebook.

“This area was popular with families, children, people out to have a good time, and look what awaited them,” Cannon said. “These two suspects tried to convince me that these traps really didn't have risk to people, but I don't buy it.”


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:


1 posted on 04/26/2012 12:10:48 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Misdemeanor?????


2 posted on 04/26/2012 12:15:34 PM PDT by Bob Buchholz
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Look at the ear lobes on the long-haired guy.


3 posted on 04/26/2012 12:17:48 PM PDT by saminfl
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

God!!!

just kill them now, why waste taxpayer dollars on prison space/time for Leopold and (ear)Lobe here..


4 posted on 04/26/2012 12:17:55 PM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
the men had posted comments on Facebook.

Thank goodness for stupidity. What's up with elf-boy's ears?

5 posted on 04/26/2012 12:18:05 PM PDT by csvset
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

WTH is up with that first guy’s ears?


6 posted on 04/26/2012 12:20:52 PM PDT by PalmettoMason (South Carolinians need to start choosing a primary challenger to Nikki Haley NOW!!!!!!!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

His cellmate will have a great time holding on to those grip holes in his ears.


7 posted on 04/26/2012 12:22:08 PM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: csvset

It’s those stupid discs that are all the rage among brain-dead idiots like the one pictured - I see them in the high schools all the time, the kids are supposed to graduate to larger and larger discs until their ear lobes are completely stretched out. Unbelievably popular right now.

With that said, I could hardly stand to read this story —I thought maybe it was marijuana growers in the national parks trying to protect their stash, not idiots who think maiming or killing someone is the height of hilarity.

I walk on trails like that all the time with my dogs.

Time to arm myself and be extra careful.


8 posted on 04/26/2012 12:25:25 PM PDT by Bon of Babble (The Road to Ruin is Always Kept in Good Repair)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; PalmettoMason; csvset

Ears have holes to put hardware in them. Ace is the place!


9 posted on 04/26/2012 12:28:04 PM PDT by the_daug
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Why do I suspect anti-human, pristine parks environmentalism at work here?
10 posted on 04/26/2012 12:31:01 PM PDT by Tex-Con-Man (T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII 2012 - "Together, I Shall Ride You To Victory")
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To: Bon of Babble
Ran into a group of six guys who all looked like those two on the Red Pine Lake trail in the SLC, Utah area. They looked like they were about to start something, but we had a fairly large group and they just stared at us as we walked by. I thought something was going to break out any second, but for some reason it didn't. I went out the next day, bought a 9mm and took a CCW class!
11 posted on 04/26/2012 12:32:06 PM PDT by aegiscg47
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To: Bon of Babble

They do/ did this in Borneo — plates-in-lips, larger and larger, until the lip is totally stretched out. NOT in sophisticated urban areas, needless to say.


12 posted on 04/26/2012 12:34:02 PM PDT by bboop (Without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers? St. Augustine)
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To: Vaquero

“just kill them now, why waste taxpayer dollars on prison space/time for Leopold and (ear)Lobe here..”

Agreed. We are overpopulated in this country alone and let’s start with the liberals, so they may join their beloved Mother Gaia as fertilizer.


13 posted on 04/26/2012 12:36:29 PM PDT by max americana
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To: Bob Buchholz
Misdemeanor?????

Yeah, my thoughts exactly. I'm more of the 2 accounts of Attempted Manslaughter. This should easily rise to the level of a Felony.

Bluntly, it's nothing short of terrorism.

14 posted on 04/26/2012 12:37:40 PM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I would guess Earth First types


15 posted on 04/26/2012 12:38:01 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (We are the 53%. 47% of Americans pay no taxes; end the free ride...)
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To: Tex-Con-Man
Why do I suspect anti-human, pristine parks environmentalism at work here?

Probably because that is what it is.

16 posted on 04/26/2012 12:40:59 PM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Spock is that you? Yes Jim.


17 posted on 04/26/2012 12:47:15 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

While on your vacation, remember how much you’re loved by the locals in the West. ;-)


18 posted on 04/26/2012 12:58:51 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: Tex-Con-Man
I was thinking that myself. The guy with the elongated ear lobes looks like an enviro wack-job.
19 posted on 04/26/2012 1:02:13 PM PDT by Major Matt Mason ("Journalism is dead. All news is suspect." - Noamie)
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To: aegiscg47

I hike 5-10 miles a week and have for about twenty years. I used to carry in case I ran into dangerous critters but it’s people I’ve run into that cause me to be glad I’m armed. Once about three miles into a five mile lloop trail I and a buddy encountered a guy in street shoes who looked like he had slept in his clothes for a few days. He made brief eye contact and looked us over but I guess he decided two guys each over six feet tall and 200 lbs might be more than he could handle.


20 posted on 04/26/2012 1:11:46 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: Tex-Con-Man
Why do I suspect anti-human, pristine parks environmentalism at work here?

I don't. they look like morons who take pleasure in the inflicted misery of others.

21 posted on 04/26/2012 1:12:05 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Malicious Intent is a felony.... Or so I thought


22 posted on 04/26/2012 1:19:46 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Malicious Intent is a felony.... Or so I thought


23 posted on 04/26/2012 1:20:13 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Major Matt Mason

If they want to help the environment, grant them their wish. Feed them to polar bears.

*g*...what an image...the snowcat driving across the snowy tundra...screaming envirowackos running after the snowcat...happy polar bear family following close behind...ain’t nature wonderful?


24 posted on 04/26/2012 1:22:32 PM PDT by AnTiw1
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I wonder how many times they watched Home Alone? Coupla creepy idiots.
25 posted on 04/26/2012 1:56:43 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Queeg Olbermann: Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them.)
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To: PalmettoMason

WTH is up with that first guy’s ears?”

It is called ear gauging. Essentially, they start with a large piercing and a black disc/earring is placed in it. The gauge stretches the skin and you then go up to the next size. Eventually, the lobe will stretch almost paper thin and hang very low. Plastic surgery is the only way to remedy the stupid idea. I saw a young man recently with lobes that stretched down about three inches. Disturbing to say the least. (aren’t you glad you asked?!)


26 posted on 04/26/2012 2:28:06 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: Tex-Con-Man
anti-human, pristine parks environmentalism at work here?

I wonder if these idiot enviromentalist know how many animals and birds take a dump in those pristine parks, they wouldn't call them pristine...

27 posted on 04/26/2012 3:35:27 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Global warming’s enthusiasts who believe people are cockroaches killing mother earth?
28 posted on 04/26/2012 6:45:39 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: momtothree

Thanks MT3 I was wondering about the ears as well.


29 posted on 04/26/2012 7:55:44 PM PDT by Sweating_Bullets
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Leftist aka progressive treehuggers do the very same thing. They spike trees to injure lumberjacks. They dig booby traps on trails to damage and injure off road vehicle users.


30 posted on 04/26/2012 8:05:53 PM PDT by DMG2FUN
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To: bboop

Los Angeles is not a sophisticated urban area, LOL!!

AND, I did see a high school kid the other day with one of those plates in his lip!!


31 posted on 04/26/2012 8:46:36 PM PDT by Bon of Babble (The Road to Ruin is Always Kept in Good Repair)
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To: aegiscg47

I live in illegal alien central — So California. There are Mexican men living all over in the bushes and hills around here, right off the hiking trails in the local mountains— and there have been several rapes of female joggers in the foothills. I know of a mountain biker who says he doesn’t go out now without his 9 MM.

I have a large police dog/pit bull mix that walks ahead of me and my little dog but I’m thinking of packing when I go out.

I hate that it’s come to this!!


32 posted on 04/26/2012 8:50:38 PM PDT by Bon of Babble (The Road to Ruin is Always Kept in Good Repair)
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To: Sweating_Bullets

Those holes are where you atatch the reins.

Giddy up big fella.


33 posted on 04/26/2012 8:56:12 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68

attach, it’s been a long day.


34 posted on 04/26/2012 8:57:37 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Bon of Babble
If you need to use your little friend to defend yourself, be prepared to be the next George Zimmerman. That way East L.A. and South L.A. can combine their Rioting into one big Perp Party.

I live in Orange County and the chances of me getting a CCW are somewhere between next to impossible and never.

Of course this brings up the obvious, I'd rather be Judged by Twelve than Carried by Six.

35 posted on 04/26/2012 9:00:09 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (A day without Obama is like a day without a Tsunami.)
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To: saminfl
"Misdemeanor?????"

Ridiculous isn't it? Unless something changes, I think that the most these two could get would be about a year. It was sickening enough just reading about it, but after seeing the traps and the throw backs who built them, I'm still hoping that perhaps a stronger charge can eventually be brought. It's the stuff of nightmares to know that they are out on bond.

36 posted on 04/27/2012 3:47:46 AM PDT by Mila
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Make me emperor for a day and I'll have these guys helicoptered to mile 250 of the Aleutian Island chain and dropped off with instructions to walk/swim home.

Mile 250 would be a "light sentence" because they're young and dumb -those islands extend some 1200+ miles I believe. I guarantee you that, if they survived (highly questionable) they'd never commit another crime again, and even help old ladies walk across the street (and all it would cost us is some lousy helicopter fuel).

37 posted on 04/29/2012 12:11:26 PM PDT by The Duke
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