Police explain arrest after Smithfield man made threat against local schools

Christopher Knowlton jail booking photo (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).

LOGAN — Police are releasing some of the details that led to the arrest of a 23-year-old Smithfield man, who is suspected of making threats against local schools. Christopher Knowlton was booked into the Cache County Jail Monday afternoon where he is still being held on $30,000 bail.

Smithfield City Police Chief Travis Allen said FBI agents notified local officers Monday after Knowlton allegedly left an online threat on an FBI webpage.

“The threat basically said that [Knowlton] was seeking some assistance and if he didn’t get the help that he wanted, he felt he would have the potential to be a school shooter,” explained Allen. “He didn’t indicate any type of school or what may happen, but he left this online threat with his name and address.”

Agents immediately forwarded the message onto the Smithfield City Police Department. Officers went to Knowlton’s home near 182 East 300 North to question him.

Allen explained that during their interrogation, Knowlton confessed to sending the online message.

“He admitted to actually posting that threat online to the FBI and officers made an arrest that day for the threat of violence.”

As a precaution, officers contacted the school resource officers for both Cache County and Logan City schools to make them aware of the threat. They also forwarded details of the situation to school administrators and staff who, in turn, notified parents throughout the district.

Allen said police have had prior involvements with Knowlton but nothing involving school violence. Court records show in 2015 he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He later accepted a plea in abeyance, where he confessed to the infraction and agreed to remain out of trouble instead of a jail sentence. He had also been receiving treatment at the time in a mental hospital in Provo.

Knowlton has not been formally charged yet.  He will likely appear in 1st District Court Monday afternoon.


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