Rexburg police respond to anonymous Yik Yak threat

Story by William Lovell, Courts and Crimes Reporter


Wednesday, July 15, 2015, at 1:40 a.m., an anonymous user posted two threats on Yik Yak that were directed toward students of BYU-Idaho.

“BYU-I is in trouble tomorrow,” The first post read. “Don’t go to school.”

It was followed approximately two minutes later with another post that read, “This is not a joke. Your classmates or you will be hurt.”

Captain Randy Lewis of the Rexburg Police Department said the police were investigating the case by 2:00 a.m.

“Was it a prank, or do they mean business?” Lewis said. “You don’t know. So you have to treat every one of these very seriously.”

“Yik Yak is a messaging app that allows users to create and view posts – called Yaks – within a 5-mile radius,” according to Yik Yak.

“We know where it came from,” Lewis said. “We will pursue this and hopefully identify whoever it was that sent it and probably charge them.”

Lewis said that even if the threat turns out to be a prank, it will still have consequences.

“It’s time-consuming,” Lewis said. “It’s expensive to investigate. What if our officers aren’t watching an intersection when someone gets hit because they’re up at the university?”

Rexburg Police investigated a similar incident last year in November when a 19-year-old male BYU-Idaho student posted that he was going “to shoot BYU-I on Monday.”

Lewis said that more information should be available today or tomorrow.

Copyright 2015 BYU-I Scroll