Arson attempt at Lehi software company may be tied to bizarre I-15 bomb scare

Posted at 5:08 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 23:53:09-04

LEHI, Utah -- Police are investigating if an arson attempt at a software company is linked to a bomb scare at a Nephi hospital.

Surveillance video provided to FOX 13 shows a man pull into the parking spot of Entrata CEO Dave Bateman at about 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, pour gasoline on the building and attempt to light it. The Utah Highway Patrol is now investigating if that same man was involved in a reckless driving incident about an hour-and-a-half later in Juab County that ended with a bomb scare.

"He gets out of the car with the gas can and he just douses gasoline on the side of the building, the rocks, the bushes, on the cement," Bateman said. "He lights up a cigarette, takes a couple of smokes and throws it onto the gas. It doesn't light."

The video shows the man returning to his car to grab a matchbook, but efforts to ignite the gasoline fails again. The man leaves a note under a rock, then drives off.

Watch the surveillance video here:

Bateman described the note as "super creepy" and threatening. It was addressed to him and mentioned the name of his assistant.

In an interview with FOX 13 on Friday, Bateman said he had no idea why he would be targeted. He has been a major donor to the Utah Republican Party and a somewhat controversial figure for his vocal support of a lawsuit against the state over the caucus-convention system.

"I don't think most people know who I ma unless it's from the political involvement, so I assume it's that," he said. "But time will tell when we found out who this guy is."

Andrew Sheridan (image courtesy Juab Co. Jail)

The Utah Highway Patrol said it is looking at Andrew Sheridan and whether he is linked to the attempted arson at Entrata. Sheridan was arrested after drivers on I-15 called 911 about a reckless driver near the Utah-Juab County line. Then, police said, Sheridan himself called 911.

"Dispatch received a call from the driver stating he had a bomb in the vehicle, he had a body in the vehicle," UHP Sgt. Todd Royce said.

Sheridan was arrested at Central Valley Hospital in Nephi on Thursday night. The hospital was put in lockdown while the bomb squad was called out to ensure his car did not actually have a device in it.

Sgt. Royce said no body and no bomb were found. The UHP and Lehi police were coordinating to determine if Sheridan was linked to the arson attempt at Entrata. The vehicle descriptions matched, Sgt. Royce said.

While police investigate, Bateman said he has increased security at Entrata. He told FOX 13 his company may have done business with Sheridan in the past.

"The guy's obviously not well," he said. "I hope he gets the help he needs."