Utah man accused of threatening Salt Lake City VA Hospital more than 600 times in 4 days

The man is facing federal charges, court records show.

(Eric Walden | The Salt Lake Tribune) The George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. A Utah man is facing federal charges after he reportedly made hundreds of threats against employees at the hospital.

A Utah man is facing federal charges after he reportedly made hundreds of threats against employees at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Salt Lake City.

The 48-year-old man has been charged in U.S. District Court in Utah with three felonies — two counts of making interstate threats and one count of cyberstalking. Earlier in the month, he was charged with electronic communications harassment.

Charging documents state that the Cedar City man used a computer and cellphone to make approximately 609 threatening calls to the hospital within a four-day period, from March 24-27.

According to the charging documents, the suspect repeatedly threatened to kill as many as five employees at the George E. Wahlen Medical Center in Salt Lake City. The employees “suffered substantial emotional distress,” and at least one feared for her life. The threats included:

• “I am in the lobby of the main building. I’m looking at the Utah campus. I am not going home. Nobody is going home.”

• “You are going to die. ... You think I am joking, but I am not.”

• “You are not to hang up again, because if you do, I will put you into the ground and you will not get to see your family again.”

The suspect also told employees that he had “no problem putting a bullet in your head,” and that if an employee didn’t meet him face to face, “you will no longer have a building to work in,” charging documents state.

According to police, the suspect told three witnesses that he used a computer to make the threatening calls with virtual phone numbers, so he could tie up as many of the medical center’s phone lines as possible — as many as five at a time, court records state.

His intent was to annoy and harass until his demands were met, charging documents state. The records did not state what his demands were.

On Tuesday, the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System announced on Facebook that it was closing its St. George clinic until further notice “for safety concerns” because “threats were made against employees and veterans.”

A spokesperson said she could not confirm if the closure was related to the charges filed against the suspect.