The student acknowledged that it was a joke, however, authorities warned that in the case of terrorist threats there is a zero tolerance policy, for which she was arrested.
Meredith Miller, a student at the University of Utah, was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats by posting on social media that she was going to detonate the nuclear reactor on campus if the team didn’t win.
According to authorities, the 21-year-old student posted the threat on the Yik Yak social media app.
“On Saturday, September 17, the University of Utah Police Department was notified that someone had posted a message on YikYak: ‘If we don’t win today, I will detonate the nuclear reactor on campus,'” the statement said.
A 21-year old Utah student was arrested after she threatened to detonate a nuclear reactor that is located on campus if the Utes lost to San Diego State Saturday, @KSLcom reports. She was booked into Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday. Fortunately, Utah won 35-7
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 22, 2022
University police determined a student posted the message and was interviewed Wednesday, authorities said.
“She acknowledged posting the statement and she was arrested and booked in the Salt Lake County jail and booked for making terroristic threats,” authorities said.
The student claimed her statement was a joke, the university said; however, Police Chief Jason Hinojosa said in the statement, “We have a zero tolerance policy for these types of threats.”
It should be noted that the university has a nuclear engineering program, which is why there is a reactor on campus, which, according to school authorities, is secured and has alarms, and the police have unique protocols to handle any contingency.
According to the Department of Energy, the University of Utah is one of 25 universities with nuclear reactors.
“Under state law, it doesn’t matter. Even if they are completely unable to carry out the threat or if the threat is made but not attempted, it is still the same charge.”