Brigham Young University officials are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of an individual or individuals who have been involved in a series of bomb threats to the school and the explosion of a pipe bomb on the campus Friday.
A pipe bomb damaged a news magazine stand near the east end of the Tanner Building sometime between midnight and 1 a.m. Friday, according to BYU spokesman Brent Harker. A custodian discovered the magazine stand about 2 a.m.A dispatcher for the University Police received a call at 9:25 a.m. from someone who said there was a bomb in the Eyring Science Center. When the dispatcher asked the caller to repeat the statement, the caller said the "ESC at 11."
A team of campus officials was called together to evaluate the threat, Harker said, and while the team was meeting, a second bomb threat was made to the Advisement Center, in the science center. The caller said there would be a bombing at 11 a.m. and he or she did not want anyone to get hurt. Both the dispatcher and secretary who received the calls believe the caller was a woman, although Harker said the caller may have been a young male.
Because of the earlier explosion, campus officials decided to evacuate approximately 1,000 people from the building at 10:45 a.m., Harker said. A thorough search of the building did not turn up evidence of a bomb, and students, faculty and employees were allowed to return at 11:15 a.m.
Harker said this was the second bomb threat at the school in the past month. On Feb. 10, a similar bomb threat was made to the Humanities Building. Both threats have occurred during midterms, Harker said.
"We're not so concerned with catching these individuals as we are in stopping the calls," Harker said. "It's a very selfish crime were someone doing this for amusement or to get out of a test. It cheats hundreds of people who have paid tuition out of part of their day, and the threat of physical violence is a violent thing in itself."
Causing threat to life or property involving the loss of use of a building is a third-degree felony. Exploding a device is a federal offense punishable by a $10,000 fine and 10 years imprisonment.
Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to call University Police Sgt. Dan Clark, 378-2756.