Chris Craig, ex-college basketball coach, ID'd as man threatening Catholics, Mormons
Update: Yesterday, we told you about bizarre threats made against Catholics and Mormons in Fort Collins, allegedly by a self-declared "Islamic jihadist" driving in a car with the words "Fuck DHS" scrawled on the side in spray paint; see our previous coverage below.
Since then, the story has only gotten stranger. The man in question is reportedly Chris Craig, a rising coaching star in Texas college basketball who suddenly resigned in March after declaring that the world was about to end. Photos, video and details below.
In early press coverage of Craig, including this profile from the Eagle, a student publication for the College of Eastern Utah, where he coached a few years back, he comes across as clean-cut and enthusiastic about hoops -- a vocation to which he'd dedicated much of his life.
"Chris Craig played Junior College ball at Arizona Western then went to the University of Texas El Paso," the article notes, by way of introduction. "His professional career included teams from Switzerland, Mexico, Ireland and Germany. He was also the player Coach for Ireland where he won their first ever National Cup Championship."
After coaching for three successful seasons at the College of Eastern Utah, Craig took over the program at Midland College in Texas. This past January, he earned his 100th victory at the junior college level.
The sky seemed the limit at that point. But then, in March, according to KOSA-TV, Craig abruptly resigned as Midland's coach after tweeting on his now-suspended account that he had gone to Jerusalem because the "end of the world" was looming. He also announced that the "new world order is coming," warned people to "get off coasts by Thursday at sundown" and revealed that "WW3 started when Israel bombed Iran" this past January.
Craig also posted thirty pages of hand-scrawled notes declaring President Barack Obama to be the anti-Christ and calling former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney a "false prophet," among many other things. Here's a screen capture of an example:
He may still be posting material at this blogspot -- either that or someone hacked in to his former address yesterday to put up satirical letters featuring references to "YHVH," a Hebrew name for God that was also spotted on the white Honda coupe he was seen driving in Steamboat Springs last week.
Despite all this oddness, though, a Fort Collins police spokesman tells 7News there are no current plans to arrest Craig, since he has yet to commit something that qualifies as a crime. But church-goers in Fort Collins and beyond are warned to keep an eye out for a man who has gone through some mighty big changes over the past few months.
Here's the KOSA report about Craig's resignation, followed by our earlier post.
Original post, 6:50 a.m. July 29: The suspect in threats made against select Fort Collins faithful remains unidentified at this writing, but that doesn't mean he's keeping a low-profile.
For one thing, the man is said to drive around in a vehicle with the phrase "Fuck DHS" (presumably a reference to the Department of Homeland Security) and a Biblical citation referring to Judgment Day.
The potential targets of this self-proclaimed "Islamic jihandist"? Catholics and Mormons.
The story comes to us courtesy of the Fort Collins Coloradoan, which shares a Fort Collins Police Department alert about a man who's announced that Mormons and Catholics in the area "would be destroyed" within the next two weeks.
The cops say no specific houses of worship were mentioned in the screed, but they alerted assorted religious organizations anyhow, including St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Parishioners there were told about the threat during weekend services, while an officer stood vigil out front.
Inside St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Fort Collins.
The suspect in question is described as a white man in his early thirties, and cops in Steamboat Springs contacted him this past week on a traffic-related matter -- shooting video while driving. At the time, he reportedly announced that he was the Archangel Michael. He said everyone would know who he was in a couple of weeks.
Not that he's likely to have escaped the notice of those in Steamboat and Rocky Mountain National Park, where he was also spotted. Police say he was wearing a T-shirt as a head wrapping, plus sunglasses and a bandanna over his face. And then there was his ride -- a white Honda couple with the aforementioned "Fuck DHS" message scrawled in spray paint, along with the letters "YHVH" (a Hebrew name for "God") and "Rev 14-7."
By the way, Revelations 14.7 states: "He said in a loud voice, 'Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.'"
If you have information about this man or the threats in general, you're encouraged to contact Fort Collins Police Sergeant Paul Wood at 970-224-6132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's a 9News report about the threats.
More from our Follow That Story archive circa December 2012: "Scott Gessler responds to ethics complaint with new details on death threats, his spending."
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