Former Lone Peak High School coach accused of threat

Written by CNN Staff

Police are investigating an alleged threat made to the Allen High School gym in Lone Peak, Utah by former coach Aaron Rich.

Rich, who has since resigned, allegedly left a voicemail for the parents of a student that was played to the school’s principal. The message allegedly included lyrics from Death Cab for Cutie’s song “My Blood Runs Cold” which say, “Drop the charges / I will shoot your son in the face.”

In the voicemail, Rich allegedly said, “I’m not going to hit you and my intentions are not to shoot your son.”

It ended with “You shouldn’t be so flippant about it.”

The parents reportedly declined to press charges.

The school’s principal, Sam Hogan, shared the voicemail with the school’s PTA and notified parents. He told CNN affiliate KSL the messages led to the school lockdown that lasted less than an hour on Wednesday morning. The threat was later deemed non-credible by local authorities.

“Regardless of the argument that took place between the coach and the student, the language used in that voicemail was not appropriate,” Hogan said in a letter to parents.

“As a result, I have asked Coach Rich to resign from his position with our organization effective today,” he added.

Travis Allen, a PTA member who represents the Lone Peak Area Parent Teacher Organization at Allen High School, told CNN that before Rich left the voicemail, “he got into a disagreement with a student in front of several students.”

Allen said that school administrators decided to not report the incident and Rich’s actions, after learning from one parent.

CNN was unable to reach Mr. Rich, but in a statement to the the Utah State Board of Education, he wrote: “There was no threat to this individual, student or the safety of the students in the school. I apologize for the tone of the message.”

Allen, the PTA member, said, “He resigned immediately. And of course, the parents are happy with that.”

Hogan said that Rich was hired by Lone Peak schools in August 2017. “We’re proud of his contributions, his contributions were very good,” Hogan told KSL.

The school district released a statement apologizing for the incident and said, “Our high school athletes are our number one priority and we are taking it seriously.”

Allen school district superintendent Lynn C. Plumb sent a letter to parents on Thursday night.

“While we believe that the parents of the junior high student in question did not wish to press charges, I do not take lightly your call of concern regarding the rumor regarding the alleged threat,” Plumb wrote.

“While we may take some small measure of comfort in having a retired military officer such as Sam Hogan to serve as principal of the school, it does not make up for the impression that this arrest may have left on the impressionable minds of our students,” he added.


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