Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daniel Thompson

Dix man arrested for making terroristic threats against Potter-Dix students


A Dix resident was arrested recently for terroristic threats made against students at the Potter-Dix High School in Potter, Nebraska.

According to the Cheyenne County arrest affidavit, Charles “Dusty” Smith of Dix, left a threatening message on the school’s answering machine on Friday, November 8, 2013, in which he allegedly threatened to kill “all non virgins and the people that they attend school with”.

After the school played back the message for Fred C. Wiedeburg, Chief Deputy for the Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office, Smith allegedly called the school again with Wiedeburg making contact and believing that the voice on the phone and phone number belonged to Smith.

After being advised that Smith resided in Dix, Wiedeburg put a call out to Sergeant Brandon Loy of the Kimball County Sheriff’s Department in order to bring him into custody.

“I got a call Monday morning at about 9:15 a.m. from Chief Deputy Wiedeburg asking me to go do a welfare check and said he was talking to this guy and that he wasn’t making any sense and that he was making threats to the school.”

When Sergeant Loy arrived at Smtih’s residence with Sergeant Jesse Godden of the Kimball Police Department serving as his support, he states that the situation quickly became tense.

“We got over there and made contact with him. He was just all over the place. I advised him that I was going to be taking him into custody, and we were going to Scottsbluff to Panhandle Mental Health so he could have an evaluation done,” Loy said.

After informing Smith that he would be taken into custody, Loy states that Smith became combative and resisted.

“I went to get a hold him. When we tried to grab his arm, he pulled away and proceeded to fight between us. We ended up taking him to the ground, got the cuffs on him, and in the process of going to the ground, he grabbed where Jesse’s gun would have been if Jesse was right handed and pulled the handcuffs instead of a gun. I think he had a little bit of a surprise when he ended up with the handcuffs in his hand,” Loy said.

After finally subduing Smith and carrying him to the squad car, Loy transported Smith to Scottsbluff to undergo an evaluation of his mental state.

“With the threats to the school, he met the requirements to do an Emergency Protective Custody [EPC], which is that we take him to the psych ward in Scottsbluff for a mental evaluation,” Loy said.

According to Loy, this is not the first time that Smith has made threats with Smith most recently allegedly making threats to the U.S. Mint in Denver and a family in Pine Bluffs. However, the alleged threats of the past week are the first time that they have been of a violent nature and concerned the death of those targeted.

“He’s made threats before but never have they been directed towards an actual persona and involving death. It was that they were going to be fired, he was going to shut their business down or that type of stuff,” Loy said.

This is also not Smith’s first encounter with Kimball County law enforcement, according to Kimball County Sheriff Harry Gillway who had previously arrested Smith for terroristic threats and assault.

“In the past, yeah, he had threatened a woman that he was living with down in the south portion of the county, but then he calmed down and we didn’t have any issues with him for years. Now all of a sudden, he comes back. His demeanor and his threats are getting more serious. Definitely, he needs to be incarcerated and get help whichever way he can,” Gillway said.

With the escalation in the severity of Smith’s alleged threats, Gillway believes that action must be taken in order to ensure that no harm comes to anyone involved in the future.

“It’s a desperate situation. A lot of people are afraid of him,” Gillway said.

Along with the charges of terroristic threats in Cheyenne County, Smith’s threats to the U.S. Mint are being investigated by the federal government, and Pine Bluffs law enforcement are investigating Smith’s threats to the family in their jurisdiction.

Smith is currently in the custody of the Cheyenne County Sheriff’s office and had a preliminary hearing scheduled for November 26.

However, the results of the preliminary hearing were not available at press time.


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