A Rawlins man is facing criminal charges for allegedly tampering with valves at the Sinclair oil refinery to give workers the day off.
The Rawlins Daily Times reported Friday that 27-year-old Bryant Paul Willingham is a former refinery employee who was working as a contractor there on Oct. 18, 2102. Police say he admitted to turning two valves in the Hydrocracker unit that day, prompting it to fill up with hydrocarbons.
According to a police affidavit, Willingham said workers were joking about wanting to home but no one specifically told him to turn the valves.
Operations manager Ray Hanson said that if the unit had overheated and ruptured, deadly hydrogen sulfide could have been released.
Willingham is charged with aggravated assault and battery, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment.