Telluride Schools were placed under “external lockdown” and the San Miguel County Courthouse was evacuated following a bomb threat received by a state government office late Friday morning.
The Department of Agriculture in Denver reported receiving a voicemail from an agitated individual requesting an immediate call back regarding what he called an animal abuse case. The same individual called the same office again approximately 30 minutes later (11:45am) claiming he had dynamite and threatened to blow up public government buildings and made general threats against children in Telluride School yards.
San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office were contacted by the government employee who received the call at 11:57pm. Sheriff’s Deputies and the Telluride Marshal’s Department dispatched all available personnel to schools and government buildings.
The Telluride High School, Intermediate School and Elementary School were placed on external lockdown, meaning classroom activities continued, but buildings were locked and secured with law enforcement presence. The Telluride Mountain School had a San Miguel County Deputy present but released students under a planned early release for a special event.
The San Miguel County Courthouse was immediately evacuated by San Miguel County Deputies and closed for the day.
The Grand Junction office of the FBI was consulted by San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters and provided assistance in an effort to apprehend the suspect. The individual who allegedly made the phone calls and threats was apprehended and arrested at approximately 2:28pm by the Montezuma Sheriff’s Office in Cortez.
Kenneth Joseph Krawchuk, 65 years-old, is known by local law enforcement for months of protests in front of the San Miguel County Courthouse earlier this year. He is considered to be a transient, and he was never thought to be in the Telluride region while making today’s threats.
External lockdown of the Telluride Schools was discontinued following the apprehension of the suspect. Law enforcement conducted internal sweeps of the properties, and school officials were told they could resume regularly scheduled activities.
Sheriff Masters said the multi-agency effort was efficient and the community reacted well to this unusual emergency incident. “School officials followed their protocols, staff remained calm and there was a swift and safe end to the incident.” San Miguel County Sheriffs Deputies traveled to Cortez Friday afternoon to bring the suspect to the San Miguel County Jail. Formal charges are pending.