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UHP solves mystery of how bloody drunk man got inside Capitol

Published August 29, 2014 9:45 am

Security breach • Employee on break had left door unlocked.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Capitol's executive office building normally is locked and secure, so Utah Highway Patrol troopers on Friday were briefly mystified about just how a bloodied drunk man ended up inside.

UHP Sgt. Todd Royce said the "breach of security" was discovered about 4:30 a.m. Friday when a janitor came upon the 24-year-old Layton man, lying semi-conscious near a stairwell in the sixth floor lobby of the State Office Building.

Troopers, who are charged with security of the Capitol grounds, didn't get much help from the sodden intruder in figuring out how the breach occurred: he was too inebriated to remember.

All that seemed certain was that the man had attended Thursday night's Idaho State-Utah football game, as he was found in possession of a game pass. UHP also believes he may have been dropped off by a cab.

At any rate, Royce said that by late Friday morning UHP had solved the case after reviewing security camera video feeds.

"About 1 a.m. [Friday] a trooper doing his rounds up there had checked the door and secured it, but shortly thereafter a [building] employee left on break through the door," he said. The door was apparently left unlocked for about 30 minutes.

"We think [The intruder] just happened to come along and find an open door as he was trying to find a place to get in out of the elements," Royce said.

The man was checked out by paramedics, treated for a superficial facial wound and released to his father pending charges likely to include public intoxication and trespassing.

The incident will result in a reminder for the building's employees from their managers about making sure they lock doors as they leave.

"We take our security for the Capitol complex very seriously," Royce said. "This was a breach of security, and it led to a review and [commitment to] better practices in the future."

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims