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Possible threat alarms Provo law office

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PROVO — An alleged threat by a Salt Lake man had Provo police on guard Wednesday near an East Bay law office.

According to Officer Todd Grossgebauer of the Provo Police Department, the law office of Ron Noyes received a phone call around 11 a.m. from a Salt Lake branch of the Mountain America Credit Union, suggesting that a disgruntled customer had threatened the office.

The credit union employee said the man became upset when he discovered that more than $400 had been seized from his account by the law office, which specializes in collections.

"He was upset that his check had been garnisheed on a civil judgment," Grossgebauer said. "He wasn't very happy."

According to the initial report broadcast over the police radio, the man had threatened to go to Provo and "kill everyone" at the office.

Grossgebauer didn't deny the broadcast but said the official account of the incident from the credit union employee described the man as saying, "We will have fun coming down there today." That was later followed by a phone call to the credit union in which the man apologized to the employee and said he would stop screaming, Grossgebauer added.

The initial report of the statement and the man's behavior alarmed police enough to increase patrols near the office and its surrounding area. Employees at the law firm were notified and given the man's name. They were told to be on alert for a white male in his 20s.

"The police officer did contact the person and he apologized," said Lacey Cherrington, general manager for the law office. While she couldn't provide detailed information on the case, she did say that it involved collections.

Grossgebauer said the garnishment involved a $9.60 check that had not been honored. The $400 seizure included accrued legal fees and surplus charges.

The incident remains under investigation, though Cherrington said the law office has put it behind it already.

"We've just dealt with it and moved forward," she said.

E-MAIL: lsanderson@desnews.com