Utah men set booby traps along popular hiking trail, police say
Benjamin Rutkowski, 19, of Orem, and Kai Christensen, 21, of Provo, were booked into the county jail Saturday for investigation of misdemeanor reckless endangerment.
The trip wires for the booby traps were found at the entrance to a crude shelter made of dead trees in an area frequented by hikers and campers, said Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
One trap was reportedly designed to send a device made with a large rock and sharpened sticks swinging toward the head of an unsuspecting person.
The other trap was designed to cause a person to fall down on sharpened sticks that were placed in the ground.
"There was potential for some very serious injury to someone," he told the Deseret News. "If someone fell the wrong way it could have been disastrous or even fatal."
The suspects told authorities they set the traps on April 15 - the day before they were discovered - but that they were targeting wildlife, not people. The suspects said they had planned to return and take the whole shelter down, booby traps included, but forgot.
Cannon was skeptical the target was wildlife.
"We believe they knew people would be going there and that's why they put them there," Cannon said.
He said illegal marijuana farmers are known to use booby traps in remote areas, but he's never heard of this type of device in a recreational area.
"People don't go up expecting this and they shouldn't have to," he told the Deseret News.
Investigators used Facebook to find individuals familiar with the shelter and to locate the suspects.
- Report: Dogs removed from kidnap suspect Castro's home
- Meeting Jodi Arias: First impressions never lie, or do they?
- Ariel Castro's lawyer says he'll plead not guilty
- Cops: Hofstra student died in police-involved shooting
- Creighton Univ. professor, wife, found slain in Omaha home
- 'Kai the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker' arrested
- 17-year-old charged with murdering two Ohio brothers
- "The War in Chicago": A 48 Hours investigation
- Defense lawyer: Jodi Arias will speak "about who she is"
- Arias jury hears of anguish from murder victim's family
- Texas woman's body found 2 days after 911 call
- Cops: DNA confirms remains those of Ga. college freshman
- Boy, 12, appears in court in sister's fatal stabbing
- Berlusconi "bunga bunga" parties detailed at Italian trial
- Jodi Arias jury finds killing merits possible death penalty
- Cops: N.M. mom chased her daughter's abductor for 7 miles