Former Utah JC coach called 'Islamist jihadist' arrested

Friday , August 09, 2013 - 2:28 PM

Christopher Craig (Photo from Graham County Sheriff's Office)...

Michelle L. Price

PRICE -- Police have arrested a former Utah junior college basketball coach on misdemeanor drug charges just days after authorities in Colorado warned that he had described himself as an Islamic jihadist.

Christopher Dewitt Craig, 32, was taken into custody on Thursday on an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor drug possession after officers found marijuana and a pipe in his car, Price police Capt. Bill Barnes said.

The arrest came after police in Colorado issued a warning to church leaders last week about Craig, a former head coach at Utah State University Eastern in Price.

The alert said Craig had been saying Mormons and Catholics would be destroyed in the coming weeks.

Barnes said Craig was being held in Carbon County Jail and did not yet have an attorney.

The warrant had been issued on July 8. Barnes said officers arrested Craig after his car was spotted at his wife's apartment. The car had "Revelation 14:7" written in black spray paint on the side, along with the letters "YHWH," a reference to the Hebrew name for God, commonly written as Yahweh, Barnes said.

"Obviously that brings easy attention to the vehicle," he said.

He said Craig was cooperative but seemed agitated at times, telling officers he believed marijuana was a "holy spirit" while using a mixture of Jewish and Christian terminology to reference the apocalypse.

Barnes said police do not believe he had been living with his wife at the apartment.

No phone number for was listed for the address.

Steamboat Springs police put out a bulletin to law enforcement in Colorado, Utah and other states after a strange encounter with Craig in July.

Capt. Jerry Stabile said police spoke with Craig after receiving a call about a man driving around the city wearing sunglasses and a towel on his head, and filming himself.

Craig was arrested in July at Eastern Arizona College after he was accused of entering a classroom, raising a Bible in the air and responding with obscenities after asking the instructor whether he was Mormon. Police did not pursue charges.

Craig was head coach at Utah State University Eastern from 2007 to 2010. He left that job to become an assistant at Northern Colorado University in Greeley.

He was there for one year before becoming head coach at Midland College in Texas. He resigned in March after two seasons at that school, citing personal reasons.

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