Provo police: Man arrested after threats against school, officers, neighbors

Provo Police vehicle. File photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

PROVO, Utah, May 22, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A man was booked into the Utah County jail after police say he left a note warning of a shooting or bomb explosion at a Provo elementary school.

Officers of the Provo Police Department were called to Timpanogos Elementary School on Thursday after a man left a note saying “Maybe school shooter or maybe school bomber coming need tell all teachers may need real evacuations maybe need get to news.”

The school had video of the man who wrote the note.

“He appeared to be a 50-year-old male in a blue button up shirt, with blue shorts, gray socks, hair balding, with a long knife on his right hip,” says the man’s probable cause statement.

The man entered the school at about 3:38 p.m. and talked to a teacher before leaving the note and exiting to the south, the statement says.

Through sharing of the photo, an officer at the Wasatch Behavioral building “said he saw a picture from Wasatch behavioral that the face matched the male in the picture.”

The suspect was identified as 46-year-old Robert Aaron Prina. Officers went to Prina’s residence in an apartment building.

SWAT response

“I knocked on the door and Robert was not answering the door just trying to talk through the door,” the officer’s statement says. “I announced it was the Police Department and he got agitated and said he did not trust the police. I asked if he was at the school earlier and he said yes. Robert said he got the information from the internet about the school shooting and bombing.”

Officers tried to get Prina to exit the apartment, but “he said that he was going to shoot officers. We tried to talk to Robert to get him to come outside and he was hitting the backside of the door and saying that he was going to blow up the apartment saying he was a suicide bomber.

“Robert kept yelling that he was going to blow the complex up and started to count down from 30 seconds. Due to the threats to shoot at law enforcement and blow up the complex we evacuated the apartments around Roberts apartment.”

A SWAT team and bomb squad was called in, and, after negotiations, Prina surrender to police. The probable cause statement makes no mention of an explosive device being found.

Charges

Prina faces initial charges of:

  • Threat of terrorism, weapon/intimidate, a second-degree felony
  • Threat against schools, weapon, disrupt, intimidate, a class A misdemeanor
  • Assault on peace officer or military service member in uniform, a class A misdemeanor

Prina was ordered held without bail.

Utah County Jail. Photo: Google Streets

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