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Orem man threatened to kill YouTube employees, police say

By Tracie Snowder, KSL.com | Posted - May 19th, 2019 @ 9:14pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — An Orem man was arrested after police say he made threats online to shoot YouTube employees and then drove to YouTube headquarters in California with a gun.

According to jail records, Orem resident David Swanson, 35, was arrested on Saturday by the Orem Police Department on suspicion of making terroristic threats.

Swanson first made threats against YouTube employees on Sept. 5 by posting a comment on a YouTube video, "Logan Paul & KSI Copyright Takedown", that read: "The only thing that comes after the death of YouTube is a funeral for all the executives that were rightfully murdered," according to the jail records.

Swanson made another threat on Dec. 6, posting a comment on a YouTube video titled "What happens if you tell Google to kill itself?" that said Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter are "falling for leftist ideology (religion)" and that executives' "only hope" of not "getting slaughtered (by gun) is to clean up their act and start following the spirit of the US Constitution," the records state.

Swanson posted two additional comments on April 30, stating that YouTube employees "are at least as evil as any Of the worst groups in history" and "I kept saying you guys were gonna get what you deserve soon. Get woke go broke, and when I visit your campus in two weeks I'll be able to shoot any employees exiting, from the convenience of my car, because the First Amendment allows me a right to do so."

Three Orem police officers showed up at Swanson's house on Wednesday to question Swanson, who invited them inside willingly, according to the documents. When police asked him about the comments he made, Swanson said initially that he meant to shoot video or pictures, not a gun, jail records stated.

"David then admitted this was a play on words and that the play on words was 'Obviously combining the idea of a campus shooting and a filming of a campus,' clearly distinguishing between the two," jail records state.

Swanson told police officers he knew about the 2018 shooting on YouTube's campus headquarters in San Bruno, California, officers said, and then told officers he drove to the Bay Area in California with a firearm two weeks after posting the comments on April 30. The documents state Swanson admitted to intending to intimidate YouTube employees "by threatening to cause bodily injury and/or death with his comments/posts".

Swanson was released from jail on Sunday morning after posting $100,000 bail.


Editor's note: The original story stated that David Swanson was charged with a crime. The story has been updated to show that he had been arrested, but not charged.

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Tracie Snowder

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