Possible Google attack in California thwarted by trooper’s instinct in Iowa

Possible Google attack in California thwarted by trooper’s instinct in Iowa
Police in California eventually arrested Kyle Long for making threats against Google employees. (Source: WOI/CNN)

ADAIR, IA (WOI/CNN) - An Iowa trooper acted on a gut feeling, and it may have prevented an attack almost 1,800 miles away in California.

The trooper responded to a normal call: vehicle in a ditch along the highway.

"The vehicle was running, the windows were down, the radio was on and there was no one around,” said Iowa State Patroll trooper Ryan Zenor.

That was the first red flag.

"That is not typical,” he said. “Somebody that is in danger, or does wreck, usually calls."

After running the truck's license plate, cops found out long was the car was from Maine.

They also found out it belonged to a man, Kyle Long, with a violent past.

"They immediately put me in an officer safety alert - meaning this subject had diagnosed mental disorders, was extremely violent,” Zenor said.

Meanwhile, Long was at a nearby gas station waiting for a tow truck, when troopers circled back to question him.

They asked him why he was on his way to California, and he told them “a business meeting at Google headquarters.”

They thought it was suspicious that Long, on an apparent cross-country roadtrip, didn’t have any luggage with him.

At that point though, officers did not have a reason to arrest him, so they let him go on to California.

But they weren't completely done with the case.

"He never just came out in direct threats, he kind of worked around it - that if they wouldn't have this meeting, he was going to make a meeting happen,” Zenor said. That gave him enough pause to alert police in California.

"I relayed to them, 'I really think this subject has thoughts, and he could actually harm someone,’” he said.

Hours later police in California arrested long for making threats toward Google employees.

Back home in Iowa, trooper Zenor was relieved

"I truly believe I was just doing my job,” he said. “I truly feel like anybody, any other officer in this situation, would've handled and done that extra work."

Police said Long was mad at YouTube because his videos were deleted, preventing him from earning money.

California police said they found three baseball bats in long's trunk.

Police are holding him on suspicion of making criminal threats.

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