California man accused of threatening bus driver, passengers in Provo

Criminal charges have been filed against a Los Angeles man who police say threatened a UTA bus driver and passengers in Provo.

Criminal charges have been filed against a Los Angeles man who police say threatened a UTA bus driver and passengers in Provo. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

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PROVO — A California man is now facing criminal charges accusing him of threatening passengers on a Utah Transit Authority bus, the bus driver and responding officers.

Rene Angel Duarte, 47, of Los Angeles, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with making a threat of terrorism, a second-degree felony; two counts of aggravated assault and being a restricted person in possession of a weapon, third-degree felonies; plus spitting on an officer and three counts of assault on an officer, class A misdemeanors.

On May 28, Duarte was riding a UTA bus in Provo "when he got upset and started yelling. He pulled a large military knife from under his clothing, brandished it at another bus passenger, and threatened to slit his throat," according to charging documents.

At the BYU North station, the bus driver "told him not to ride the bus any more." Duarte "again pulled the knife from behind his back, held it in a reverse grip for a downward stabbing motion, and advanced on the bus driver," the charges allege.

After the driver got back on the bus, Durate turned away.

"The bus driver used the opportunity to take control of the knife. A physical altercation followed, which did not go in (Durate's) favor," the charges state, without providing further details.

When police officers arrived, Durate was found lying on the bus platform. While taking him into custody, Duarte spat in an officer's face and threatened to kill the officers and their children, "blow up the area," and also claimed "that drones were following them, ready to blow up the patrol car," according to the charges. He also allegedly threatened to blow up buses.

Prosecutors note in court documents that Duarte was previously convicted of "a violent felony" in California.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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