See The Bizarre Boobytraps Found On Utah Hiking Course (SURVEY)
Imagine hiking in your favorite area when all of a sudden -- boom! Boobytraps!
U.S. Forest Service officials discovered a series of military-style boobytraps on the Big Springs Hiking Trail located about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City in Provo Canyon. It is a popular area for hikers and wilderness enthusiasts, as well as families. Forest Service Officer James Schoeffler came across several traps while on a routine patrol this last weekend.
A 20-lb. 'spiked boulder' was suspended off the trail by heavy-gauge fishing line. The boulder had sharpened wooden stakes tied around it so it resembled the goatheads we find around here in the Mid-Columbia. It was to be activated by a tripwire suspended across the trail. The second trap involved a trip wire designed to make it's victim fall into a bed of sharpened stakes! Forest Service officials said the average person would not have seen them; it was only because Schoeffler had extensive military training that enabled him to glimpse the traps.
19-year-old Benjamin Steven Rutkowski of Orem, and 21-year-old Kai Matthew Christiansen of Provo were arrested in connection with the traps. Authorities received an anonymous tip from someone who saw comments the two made on Facebook about the traps, and a nearby shelter they built. Police say the shelter was apparently designed to lure a victim towards the traps less than a half mile from a busy trail head. The two claimed the traps were built for wildlife, but officials say the devices -- especially the spiked stakes -- strongly resembled 'punji spikes' that were used in Vietnam.
The two will probably be charged with reckless endangerment, the strongest charge allowable since nobody was actually injured. Forest Service Officials said a lot of people go up the trail at night, and it could have been a severe tragedy if someone stumbled into the boobytraps.
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