A San Antonio man who allegedly threatened a mass murder of football players and fans at the January 14 NFL Divisional Playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars was arrested Friday and charged with transmitting interstate threatening communications.
Court filings detail how law enforcement used computer records to track Yuttana Choochongkol, also known as Jason Manotham, 40, who used the name Kill Roethlisberger and the email address firstname.lastname@example.org during one of his messages to the Steelers.
In that email, Choochongkol told Heinz Field officials to consider him armed and dangerous and said he would be “packing an Uzi” with many clips under his winter gear.
“My target will be the whole Steelers sideline.”
In a message sent January 10 to Heinz Field, Choochongkol warned Steelers officials to be prepared for a massacre at the playoff game, adding that he planned to kill himself.
“Why not take as many people with me as I can?” he asked.
In the email, which was included in the court file, Choochongkol threatened to kill as many Steelers players as possible before taking “my own worthless life.”
In another email the FBI says was traced to Choochongkol, using the email address email@example.com, he said he planned to kill himself and take out some million-dollar players.
A third message was sent to KDKA in Pittsburgh through the “Contact Us” feature on its website.
Though agents with the FBI-Pittsburgh’s Joint Terrorism Task Force were unable to track the author of the emails, according to court records they were able to find an Instagram account that used a name Choochongkol allegedly used on one of his emails and eventually connected the IP number of the computer used to send the threatening messages to Heinz Field officials to Choochongkol’s place of employment in San Antonio.
Choochongkol’s employer’s surveillance video showed that he was at the two computers that were used to send the threats at the time they were sent.
Choochongkol was arrested January 12 in San Antonio, according to a news release issued Friday by the Department of Justice.
In the news release, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady commended the work done by the FBI and Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in working rapidly to identify and arrest Chochongkol and averting a potential disaster.
The Steelers-Jaguars game was attended by more than 68,000 fans.
Choochongkol faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. A federal magistrate judge in Texas has ordered him held without bond.