If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help can be found by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or the SafeUT Crisis Chat at 833-372-3388.
CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A lecturer with Southern Utah University has been charged with one second-degree felony count of threat of terrorism after allegedly harassing university administration, demanding a tenure-track, funding for his doctorate degree, and firing a fellow employee.
In court documents, police said 46-year-old Steven Charles Bagg’s current whereabouts are unknown and a warrant for his arrest has reportedly been issued.
According to charging documents, Baggs was an “emergency hire” at Southern Utah University (SUU).
On Dec. 10, Baggs reportedly requested payout information regarding his life insurance as well as sent emails to the Department Chair of the Art & Design Department, Jeffrey Hanson, and human resources at SUU. The emails reportedly detailed “some concerns” and were requests for help.
The following day, Baggs emailed the Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts and SUU detailing a list of complaints against Hanson, blaming him for everything and that Hanson had made Baggs suicidal. Baggs claimed that Hanson had hired him too late in the term, provided faulty information, and repeatedly treated him poorly, according to charging documents.
Baggs allegedly claimed that the new job caused him stress which caused “family issues” and led to his arrest on domestic violence charges. In the email, Baggs claimed he was innocent and a victim of an “incarceration for profit criminal system” where his lawyer “probably shared his fee with the judge and prosecutor.”
Baggs then detailed his suicide in Hanson’s office or in front of students before simply ending his email with “please get me some help,” the charging documents state.
On Dec. 12, Baggs called human resources and continued his threats, claiming to have a gun with two magazines in the library on the SUU campus, according to charging documents. During the phone call, Baggs reportedly said he would commit suicide if the school did not look into “unfair tactics used by police and prosecutors to make money from harassing innocent people.”
Baggs also reportedly insisted Hanson be fired, and demanded the school pays for his doctorate degree and put him on a tenure track. Throughout the phone call, charging documents say Baggs likened himself to the Egyptian goddess of truth, made biblical references, and said he would push back against police “like Rambo.”
The court documents say police were able to ping Baggs’ phone, which indicated Baggs was in Oregon and not on the SUU campus. As law enforcement continued to attempt and locate Baggs, they were reportedly alerted to him being in Hawaii on Christmas Eve and attempting to go to Japan.