The traps were discovered on April 16th by U.S. Forest Officer James Schoeffler while investigating reports of suspicious activity along Big Springs Trail. He had been checking out a popular, makeshift dead-wood shelter when he found the first trap.
“As he investigated the shelter he noticed what appeared to be a trip wire near the ground at an entrance. Upon further investigation he discovered that the trip wire led to a booby trap device which was made with a large rock, sticks sharpened at both ends, and was held together with rope,” said a statement issued by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
If the wire had been tripped, the boulder was designed to swing at head height. Schoeffler, using his experience as a a bomb disposal technician, decided to check around for more traps.
“Typically, anywhere I’ve been, if there’s one, there’s two, if there’s three, there’s four,” Schoeffler said.
He was correct in his assumptions. He would find a second trap that consisted of a wire meant to trip a passerby, causing them to fall into a pit of sharpened stakes.
Police would eventually arrest Benjamin Rutkowski, 19, and Kai Christensen, 21 after someone contacted authorities regarding some online posts. Apparently, like so many super smart people who have been featured on this site, these men had posted about their activities on Facebook.
The men insisted they meant no harm and that the traps were meant for wildlife, specifically bunnies and wild boar. Police didn’t buy that explanation, nor does Schoeffler.
“I wouldn’t buy that excuse,” Schoeffler said. “They actually used the term bunnies. That’s kind of funny — and there are no wild boars in Utah.”
The pair have been released on bail, but no official charges have been filed as of yet. The most they could be charged with, according to prosecutors, is a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment. The two would have faced felony charges had anyone been hurt.Tags: Benjamin Rutkowski, Big Springs Trail, booby trap, Crime, facebook, James Schoeffler, Kai Christensen, Utah