Officials arrest Southern Utah man for threatening to blow up White House

Stock image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Hurricane City man was arrested Tuesday after reportedly making terroristic threats involving the use of weapons of mass destruction.

On April 17, the Hurricane City Police Department received a message via social media from an individual who identified himself as “Assad Muhammad” and said he was “going to go to Washington D.C. and blow up the White House,” according to a probable cause statement filed by the Hurricane City Police Department in support of the arrest.

David Grant Torrey, of Hurricane, Utah, booking photo posted April 25, 2017 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The individual further said in the message that, during his trip, he would be traveling through Hurricane City and would be detonating “smaller bombs” in the city that “wouldn’t cause death but would cause injuries and property damage,” the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement.

During the course of the investigation, Hurricane Police detectives contacted the FBI who assisted the department in identifying where the messages originated, the report stated.

The FBI tracked the message to an address in Hurricane City. Authorities further identified the suspect as 25-year-old David Grant Torrey, of Hurricane, according to the statement.

Police were already familiar with Torrey due to his history of making terroristic threats. According to court documents, Torrey had been placed on supervised probation through Iron County 5th District Court for threatening to blow up a Cedar City hospital and jail on three other separate occasions.

He also threatened to “kill the governor, kill the president and then flee the country and join ISIS,” Cedar City Police Sgt. Jimmy Roden told St. George News in a June 2016 interview.

In addition to those threats, police were made aware on Jan. 2 that Torrey posted a threatening message on the White House Instagram page in which he threatened harm towards President Barack Obama, his family and White House staff members.

In that message, according to court documents, Torrey stated he would detonate a bomb strapped to his chest, adding: “It is big enough to kill everyone there right now YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. You have TWO minutes!!!”

As a result of the most recent threats, Torrey was placed on probationary hold at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility Tuesday for violating his probation.

After Torrey was interviewed by police, the Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing him of two second-degree felony counts for threat of terrorism.

“We always take these types of incidents very serious and consider them real until otherwise determined,” the Hurricane City Police Department said in a statement Wednesday. “There was no real threat that was substantiated in this incident.”

The Police Department noted that it is a violation of the law to make these types of threats.

Several U.S. states have enacted statutes which impose criminal liability for making threats of terror, whether the threat is acted on, or not.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  • ladybugavenger April 26, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Blah blah blah…he’s already been arrested for making threats and let out and here he is again…Anyone surprised?

    He looks like a nut job. Wouldn’t surprise me if he gets out and blows something up

    • Real Life April 26, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      He needs to blow up whoever did that to his hair.

    • darkgoddess April 27, 2017 at 5:33 am

      He needs a psychiatric evaluation, and likely extended time in a mental health facility. Just throwing him in jail isn’t going to fix the problem. Like you said, he’ll just get out and keep trying to blow something up.

  • mesaman April 26, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Poor little snowflake, maybe he’ll evaporate in a cell.

  • Larry April 26, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Looks like he and the public might be best served with a sentence of 3-5 years in the Hoo-Hoo Hotel.

  • hiker75 April 27, 2017 at 5:40 am

    So, how does one lose citizenship? Isn’t he a candidate?

  • Wolverine April 27, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Nice UT Jazz Gordon Hayward Haircut, I’m sure his fans are so proud. This guy’s been making these threats for over a year now. Even if he was not considered a significant threat last year, he obviously needs some mental health assistance. It appears he’s an equal opportunity paranoid psycho, making bomb treats against both recent White House administrations along with other Political personalities and agencies/entities.

    Perhaps he just needs to not watch any news outlets or social media, it seems to cause extreme anger in a lot of people lately. I do feel badly for someone that seems to be that angry at everyone (I just cannot relate to that personally), but at the same time, he really needs to get some help (and most likely medication) and to remain removed from the public until he can control himself and function as a non threatening member of society.

  • Proud Rebel April 27, 2017 at 10:19 am

    This is a perfect example of why we need to go back to having insane asylums.

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