Gilbert Arizona police arrest employee accused of tampering with water treatment facility

UPDATE From The Arizona Republic: A Mesa wastewater employee faces terrorism charges after police say he shut down a Southeast Valley wastewater treatment plant, creating a buildup of methane gas and sparking a standoff with Gilbert SWAT.

Authorities said Robert Olson, 43, began shutting down the plant about midnight Friday after accessing several buildings at the facility located at 4400 S. Greenfield Road in Gilbert. Nearly three hours later, Olson called 911 stating he was armed with a handgun, said Sgt. Bill Balafas, a police spokesman.

“Mr. Olson was the sole employee on the midnight shift at the facility,” Balafas said. “Because of the coordinated response and systems safeguards at the treatment facility, there was no risk of danger to the community. Mr. Olson’s actions did endanger the lives of the first responders.”
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