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In brief: Two arrested in Utah booby trap case

Thu., April 26, 2012

Provo, Utah – In a case that stunned authorities with its ruthlessness, two Utah men have been arrested in connection with a pair of deadly booby traps along a popular hiking trail outside Provo.

One of the traps featured a tripwire meant to send a 20-pound spiked boulder swinging into an unsuspecting victim. The other was designed to trip a passer-by into a bed of sharpened wooden stakes.

The suspects, Benjamin Steven Rutkowski, 19, and Kai Matthew Christensen, 21, were arrested last weekend on suspicion of misdemeanor reckless endangerment and have been released on bail. They told investigators the traps were intended for wildlife.

But authorities discounted that explanation.

The booby traps were set at entrances to a popular makeshift wooden shelter used by local hikers as a sleepover and campfire site, Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. The traps took time and energy to erect, he said, and involved rope and heavy-duty fishing line along with rocks and sticks.

Gingrich ending campaign next week

Washington – Newt Gingrich began taking steps Wednesday to shut down his debt-laden White House bid, setting the stage to endorse one-time rival Mitt Romney next week and rally Republicans behind their apparent nominee.

Gingrich had a friendly telephone conversation Wednesday with Romney and had started planning an event where he would throw his support behind the likely nominee, Gingrich spokesman R.C Hammond said. The pair agreed to work together to unite conservatives against President Barack Obama.

Gingrich had been under pressure for some time to leave the race and clear a path for Romney.

One dies after SUV hangs off freeway

San Diego – A family’s wrecked SUV dangled off the side of a San Diego freeway Wednesday as construction workers positioned a forklift to keep the mangled vehicle from falling, and then helped the four adults and 8-year-old boy who were inside, authorities said.

A 66-year-old woman who was in the vehicle who was sitting in the backseat later died at a local hospital after suffering major head trauma in the accident. The other four occupants of the SUV suffered broken ribs, cuts, lacerations and bruises.

Brian Thomas, 43, of San Diego, was driving his family to Disneyland in Anaheim in a Toyota Rav4 when it was struck by a car that swerved to avoid another vehicle making an illegal lane change on Interstate 805, according to the CHP.

The SUV rolled over several times, slammed into the center divider and nearly dropped into a freeway construction zone 30 feet below.


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