Police have arrested two men in Utah for placing potentially deadly booby traps liking to the Hunger Games on a popular hiking trail. The traps which the pair had laid were discovered by a military-trained officer on foot patrol on the Big Springs trail in Provo Canyon on Saturday, before anyone was injured.
The pair, Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21, of Provo, had set trip wires that could send a 20lb ball of spiked branches into a person’s head and also send an unaware victim into a bed of wooden stakes.
The pair were arrested after police identified them through a series of Facebook contacts after speaking to locals who knew the trail. Forest Service officer James Schoeffler came across the traps whilst on routine foot patrol of the area in South Fork Canyon by a building used by families and young hikers, called The Fort. The traps had been designed to go off when someone entered The Fort.
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The two men have been booked on counts of reckless endangerment, with police stating that if the traps had been activated then the pair would have faced felony charges. Fox 13 was told by deputies that ‘it does not appear the suspects were attempting to hide anything, and they seem to have been set for fun.’
Forest Service spokesman Sergeant Spencer Cannon told the station: “We hope that they learn a lesson from this. Our point isn’t to get someone arrested. Our point is to get someone to change the behaviour and if this helps them to do that by going to jail, that’s what we want.”
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