UT employee arrested for alleged bomb threat


by KVUE News


Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 20 at 3:10 PM

Police arrested a University of Texas employee Wednesday evening after investigators say he threatened to blow up the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center.

An anonymous tip led to the arrest of Jesse Joe Lara III. He is charged with terroristic threat and possession of marijuana, said Roger Wade with the Travis County Sheriff's Office. He is being held on $20,500 bond.

Lara faces a third-degree felony if convicted and could receive up to 20 years in prison.

A police affidavit shows that Lara went to the alumni center Friday, Aug. 1 to pick up a paycheck. A staff member told Lara the check wasn't ready.

The affidavit states Lara walked out to the center's patio and "angrily announced to several people that his check was not ready."

Police reports show that after being told his paycheck would not be ready for another hour, Lara walked back onto the patio and told a friend he would come back and blow up the building, stating that his friends made C-4 plastic explosives.

Lara gestured to his friend as if he had a gun in his backpack, states the affidavit.

When Lara left the center, his friend called the police, who came to the building and stayed on site until the office was closed.

Violent attacks that have occurred globally in recent years have led police to treat similar threats seriously, said Sgt. L. Glass, UTPD.

"We take all threats on this campus very seriously and investigate them all," Glass said. "We would rather investigate things that don't turn out than to miss that one thing that ends up happening and somebody gets hurt."

A trial date for the case has not been set.