Gun sighting sparks large-scale emergency response on U.S. 40
Update: This story was updated at 10:44 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25 to include more details on the suspect and the circumstances of the arrest.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office took three men into custody Wednesday afternoon on U.S. 40 after one of them posted a threatening video on Facebook and allegedly pointed a gun at a motorist.
The incident sparked a large-scale emergency response from several law enforcement agencies in the area, including the Sheriff’s Office, Park City Police Department and Utah Highway Patrol. No weapons were recovered.
Jeronimo Campos, 34, of Park City, has been charged with theft, threats of violence and an open container. Theft, a Class A misdemeanor, is the most serious charge and carries up to a one-year jail sentence and $2,500 fine upon conviction.
Two passengers, whose names have not been released, were undocumented reentries and were released to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Campos will also be released to Homeland Security following adjudication.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Campos posted a video on his Facebook page in which he was holding an assault rifle. The video was captioned, "This is for work." Campos had recently been fired from a local business after the employer suspected him of theft and other in-house violations, a release states.
At around 9 a.m. Wednesday, a co-worker reported the post to Summit County dispatch. The Sheriff’s Office immediately issued an alert to area law enforcement agencies in an attempt to locate the suspect.
Sheriff Justin Martinez said dispatch also received a report about a motorist matching Campos’ description was traveling eastbound along Interstate 80 and driving erratically.
Another caller reported that one of the occupants in the vehicle brandished a weapon at him. According to the release, a preliminary investigation revealed that the second motorist did not actually see the weapon, but had reported the information from another person.
"It was like we were looking for a needle in the haystack because we had people all around the area trying to locate this one vehicle," Martinez said.
Officers were initially sent to a residence in the Aspen Villas Apartments, in Park City, Martinez said. However, he did not indicate the suspects’ connection to the unit.
"We had just received some limited information and that is sort of where we thought this individual might be headed so we were just sitting on it," Martinez said.
At around 11:30 a.m. the suspect’s vehicle was located and a felony stop was initiated on U.S. 40 near Quinn’s Junction at mile marker four. A portion of U.S. 40 was closed in both directions during the arrest.
"We were all racing to get these guys off the street as soon as possible and we had to shut down the freeway in case this erupted in gunfire," Martinez said. "The perception is that it was a lot of manpower, but had it turned into a violent shootout we always want to make sure we have people in strategic positions to respond to ensure the safety of the citizens of Summit County and the motoring community."
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The Summit County Council is poised to extend its order allowing school mask requirements at a meeting Monday. No school is close to the case-number threshold, according to state data.