A California man arrested in the bomb threat at an LDS fireside at BYU Sunday is the same man who wanted to take over the church last week when he left guns and ammunition inside Temple Square, police said.
Howard W. Hunter, president of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was just beginning his talk to 17,000 people in the Marriott Center when a man came out of the audience with a briefcase and a cellular telephone wrapped in black tape, yelling, "Stop right there."The man then ordered those on the stage to leave, saying he had a bomb in his left hand and a detonator in his right hand, said R.J. Snow, BYU vice president of student life.
Those on the stage moved off, but President Hunter and his security guards refused to leave.
The man waved the so-called detonator around President Hunter's head. Audience members believed he was waving a gun. He then ordered President Hunter to read a prepared statement, but President Hunter refused.
The statement reportedly called for the release of the church's First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, said BYU spokeswoman Margaret Smoot, who met with police and prosecutors Monday morning.
When the man made the initial threats, members of the audience jumped out of their seats and walked toward the exit, then stopped and sang three verses of the LDS hymn, "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet." Some audience members broke into tears.
"Everyone was shocked and taken aback. It was neat that everyone began singing. It really bothered (the suspect)," said Chris Broberg, a BYU student in the audience.
During the incident, which lasted about 10 minutes, an older man from the audience tried to distract the assailant but was forcefully shoved down. Immediately afterward, a student in a front row sprayed the assailant with mace.
Security officers then rushed the man and subdued him. That was followed by an onslaught of 40 to 50 students who jumped on the man.
President Hunter was brought to the floor by security guards and was unharmed, Snow said.
Police arrested Cody Robert Judy, 27, Bakersfield, Calif., and booked him into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and unlawful detention. County Attorney Kay Bryson met with police Monday morning to discuss the case. Judy is scheduled to appear in 4th Circuit Court Tuesday morning.
Police opened the briefcase, finding only a stack of books and a radio. As a precaution, the Provo police bomb squad blew up the briefcase just west of the Marriott Center, Snow said.
A Volkswagen with a skull and crossbones was left at BYU and is believed to be Judy's car. The car matches the description of the vehicle driven by a man who was detained last week by Salt Lake police.
Judy had reportedly left guns and ammunition inside Temple Square as "gifts for the prophet," police said.
Church security officers told police that Judy had made statements to relatives that he had been told by God he was to lead the church. Security officers feared Judy wanted to take over the Salt Lake Temple by force, according to a police bulletin. But the man said he came to Salt Lake City from California only to visit his three children and to give the "gifts" of rifles and food to the church's prophet, the report states.
Just inside the gates on Temple Square, officers discovered a rifle, a shotgun, two large knives, a diary, 14 boxes of ammunition and some food. The items were covered up with a blanket.
"His actions, though bizarre, did not constitute a violation of the law," said Salt Lake Police Lt. Dennis Tueller. Detectives interviewed Judy last week and were possibly going to release the guns to him. But he was unable to prove the guns belonged to him, said Sgt. Don Bell.
"He didn't appear to be deranged, out of his head or violent," Bell said. "He had his own agenda and religious beliefs."
Judy told them he'd been chosen to be the next prophet. "He told me that the Lord Jesus Christ commands him to do everything he does in his life and pointed to me and said, `Just as he commands you,' " said Detective Henry Mark.
"He indicated to me he'd only resort to violence if he had to defend himself," Mark said.
Mark released the diary to Judy but would not give him back the weapons. "He was very concerned. He wanted to get his guns back. We were leery to give them to him," Bell said.
"Given the incident in Provo, he may not get them back for a while, if ever," Mark added.
Smoot said Judy, a member of the LDS Church, had told police that he had had a vision about eight months ago that outlined the events that have occurred.
Sunday night's fireside was being broadcast to college institutes all over North America but was blacked out during the incident and a "technical difficulties" sign on the TV alarmed viewers, BYU spokesman Brent Harker said.
"We were impressed with how calm President Hunter was. Everyone was astounded," said Jennifer Hafen, a BYU student in the audience.
President Hunter went ahead with his speech without a quaver when the incident was over.
"I want to tell you how good your voices sound," President Hunter said as he began his talk over again. The talk began, "Life has a fair number of challenges in it - as demonstrated." He told the audience "despair, doom and discouragement are not an acceptable view of life for a Latter-day Saint."
President Hunter continued saying, "I want to say to all within the sound of my voice tonight that you have every reason in this world to be happy and to be optimistic."