College student arrested for saying she would detonate nuclear reactor if school lost football game

A 21-year old University of Utah student was arrested after she threatened to detonate a nuclear reactor that is located on campus if the college lost to San Diego State

  • The 21-year-old female suspect, identified as Meredith Miller, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday for the reported offense
  • The bizarre bomb threat came ahead of the No. 13 Utes’ home game against San Diego State on Saturday, where Utah was a heavy -2000 favorite 
  • However, Miller still seemed wary that her team may not take home a win, and decided to take matters into her own hands – albeit in an ill-advised manner
  • Upon announcing the arrest Wednesday, police said that the student did have knowledge of the nuclear reactor – despite Miller saying it was merely a joke
  • Miller is now charged with a second-degree felony, which could yield a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison – with a minimum of one 

A student at the University of Utah was taken into custody Wednesday after she allegedly threatened to detonate a nuclear reactor kept inside one of the campus’ science buildings – if the school’s football team didn’t win its game last week.

The 21-year-old female suspect, identified as Meredith Miller, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Wednesday for the reported offense, on charges of making a threat of terrorism.

The bizarre bomb threat came ahead of the No. 13 Utes’ home game against San Diego State on Saturday, where Utah was a heavy -2000 favorite.

However, Miller still seemed wary that her team may not take home a win, and decided to take matters into her own hands – albeit in an ill-advised manner.

According to police, on the eve of the game, Miller ‘posted threats of violence’ on Yik Yak – a community billboard app where users to anonymously engage with others within a 5-mile radius.

Those threats, police said, saw the student assert  that she would ‘detonate the nuclear reactor that is located in the University of Utah causing a mass destruction.’

A student at the University of Utah was taken into custody Wednesday after she allegedly threatened to detonate a nuclear reactor kept inside one of the campus' science buildings - if the school's football team didn't win its game against San Diego State last week (pictured)

A student at the University of Utah was taken into custody Wednesday after she allegedly threatened to detonate a nuclear reactor kept inside one of the campus’ science buildings – if the school’s football team didn’t win its game against San Diego State last week (pictured)

Taking the threat seriously, four days later, university police tracked down Miller and booked her as a potential domestic terrorist.

Professors at the university have since said that the small, experimental reactor only generates enough power to heat the thousands of gallons of water it’s kept in – and would likely not require much cause for alarm.

What’s more, Utah would go on to decidedly win the game, trouncing the Aztecs 35-7 – making Miller’s ill-advised insurance policy now seem somewhat over-the-top.  

Nonetheless, upon announcing the arrest Wednesday, police said that the student did have knowledge of the nuclear reactor, saying in a statement that Miller was ‘aware of where the reactor is located and attends class in the same building where the reactor is housed.’

Miller has since maintained that the post was a joke – to which the school responded Thursday in a statement saying that despite it being in jest, the school has ‘a zero-tolerance policy for these kinds of threats.’

Taking the threat seriously, university police tracked down Meredith Miller and booked her as a potential domestic terrorist for the threat, which she posted to the community chat app YikYak

Taking the threat seriously, university police tracked down Meredith Miller and booked her as a potential domestic terrorist for the threat, which she posted to the community chat app YikYak

School police also noted that the school’s nuclear reactor ‘is secured and alarmed,’ adding that police also ‘have unique protocols [in place] for managing any breach of the facility.’

Miller, meanwhile, has been hit with a second-degree felony as a result of her actions – which could yield a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison, and a minimum of one.   

The reactor in question is housed in the university’s Merrill Engineering Building, where it is used for teaching and research purposes. 

Despite it emitting nuclear energy, the radiation levels of the device – which was constructed in 1975 – are carefully monitored, and are low enough where it is not dangerous to stand near the reactor, professors say.

With that said, it is not immediately clear if Miller had any knowledge as to how to operate the reactor. Jail records show that she was booked in the Salt Lake County Jail at 12:14pm PT on Wednesday. She is no longer listed among other inmates.

Utah would go on to decidedly win the game, trouncing the Aztecs 35-7, with the student's insurance policy now seeming somewhat over-the-top

Utah would go on to decidedly win the game, trouncing the Aztecs 35-7, with the student’s insurance policy now seeming somewhat over-the-top

Surprisingly, this is not the first time this year that a University of Utah student has made a bomb threat at the Salt Lake City school.

Just last month, a 19-year-old was arrested for the same exact crime after he also used the Yik Yak app to make a terror threat – saying that he would detonate an explosive at the school’s Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building.

In that case, the student was also tracked down based on his post, and was treated as a terrorist. He also maintained that the threat was meant ‘as a joke,’ and that he had ‘no intent’ on carrying it out.

Cops continue to probe both incidents. 

Miller has since maintained that the post was a joke - to which the school responded Thursday in a statement saying that despite it being in jest, the school has 'a zero-tolerance policy for these kinds of threats.' She faces up to 15 years in prison for the felony offense

Miller has since maintained that the post was a joke – to which the school responded Thursday in a statement saying that despite it being in jest, the school has ‘a zero-tolerance policy for these kinds of threats.’ She faces up to 15 years in prison for the felony offense

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