Category: police

Layton man awarded for preventing suicide

LAYTON, Utah — Layton City Police have given a man the department’s Life Saving Award for his actions in saving a suicidal person earlier this year.

Steven Midgley was on Gentile Street when he saw a man attempting to jump off the overpass onto I-15.  Midgley and others ran to the man and held his arms to prevent him from jumping.

Officers arrived to assist by holding the man by his wrists, forcing him to let go of the fence. Midgley and the officers were the only thing keeping him from falling.

Together, they were able to pull the man to safety.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional resources. You can also download the SafeUT app for instant, confidential crisis services.

Black Lives Matter supports family after Woods Cross officer pulls gun on 10-year-old

WEST BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Black Lives Matter has announced its support for a family, now demanding an investigation, after a police officer drew his weapon on a black 10-year-old while he was playing outside.

“I want an investigation, I want a formal complaint,” Jerri Hrubes said as she stood next to her attorney in a press conference Friday.

Just 24 hours prior, Hrubes was inside of her family’s West Bountiful home when she heard commotion outside.

“I heard and saw with my own eyes D.J. standing on the front lawn playing, with no toys in his hand, nothing in his hand, and an officer had a pistol pointed at his head,” she said.

Her 10-year-old son, D.J., said he was outside running around when the Woods Cross Police officer approached him.

“I was right here,” D.J. said Thursday as he showed Fox 13 where the incident happened. “And he pulled a gun out and I had to do this, and I laid down like this,” he continued as he put his arms behind his head and slowly dropped onto his stomach.

The officer was assisting another agency in a search for two suspects, believed to be armed, who were involved in a shooting incident in Centerville earlier that day.

Fox 13 was unable to reach Woods Cross Police Friday, but in an interview Thursday, they said it was simply a case of “unfortunate mistaken identity.”

“We had minimal information at the time. We had one, possibly Hispanic, out on foot and we knew there was at least one other suspect involved,” Woods Cross Police Lt. Adam Osoro told Fox 13 Thursday. “This kid was just in the area at the wrong time.”

However, the family said if you take a look at this 4-foot 7-inch tall little boy, they believe it’s obvious the incident happened because of the color of his skin.

“Does he look like he’s 30? Does he look like he’s 18? No,” Jerri Hrubes said.

“I don’t know of any other black people in Woods Cross, it felt very racial,” she continued.

Now, in a public cry for answers and an investigation, other groups are supporting the Hrubes family’s concerns.

“Had it been a white child playing on the lawn and the officers were on this manhunt, they would have yelled, ‘Go inside.’ They wouldn’t have drawn their gun on him,” said Josianne Petit with Black Lives Matter.

Petit said the organization wants much more than an investigation.

“Black Lives Matter absolutely wants this officer fired,” Petit said.

“To not have him be fired will not only embolden him, but other officers like him, and next time the outcome could be way worse,” Petit added.

Black Lives Matter said the incident as a whole sends a larger message.

“It doesn’t matter how safe you think your community is, it doesn’t matter who your parents are, a black skinned individual is always going to be a black skinned individual first and so we need to do better,” Petit said.

And while the family waits to see what will happen next, Utah is no longer a place they want to call home.

“As a white mother to a black son, I don’t feel safe in West Bountiful anymore. That changed after yesterday,” Jerri said.

When Fox 13 spoke with Woods Cross Police Thursday, they said they did not have reason to look further into the incident. As mentioned, Fox 13 was unable to get in touch with the agency Friday to see if the family’s call to action would result in an investigation.

Utah mother calls for investigation after police pointed gun at her son

SALT LAKE CITY — A mother is calling for action after a police officer pointed his weapon at her son Thursday afternoon.

During a suspect search in the area, a Woods Cross Police officer pointed his gun at 10-year-old D.J. Hrubes in his grandma’s front yard in West Bountiful and ordered him to get on the ground.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Jerri Hrubes called for an investigation. She wants answers as to why this officer felt it was okay to point his gun at her 10-year-old and, more importantly, she wants to know why nothing is being done.

Woods Cross Police were assisting other agencies in a suspect search in West Bountiful. They were looking for two men, potentially armed, who were involved in a shooting earlier Thursday afternoon.

D.J. was running around and playing on the front lawn when an officer saw him.

Police say the officer believed he was one of the suspects — when D.J. continued to run around, the officer pulled out his weapon.

Woods Cross Police say it was a case of mistaken identity, but Jerri and D.J. Hrubes believe this happened because of the color of his skin.

“I don’t think what transpired yesterday was what a typical10-year-old should or would be faced with from a police officer,” Jerri Hrubes said.

Woods Cross Police deny any wrongdoing.

“We had minimal information at the time. We had one, possibly Hispanic, out on foot, and we knew there was at least one other suspect involved,” Lt. Adam Osoro said Thursday. “This kid was just in the area at the wrong time.”

Police say the officer returned to the family’s house after the search was suspended, which the family confirmed. However, police also claim they have reached out to the family multiple times, but the family says they haven’t been contacted at all.

Police said Thursday that they would not be looking further into how their officer handled the situation.

“In this case, it’s just an officer that’s trying to keep himself safe and the public safe,” Osoro said. “I don’t exactly know what else we can do at this point.”

Fox 13 reached out to but has not heard back from the police department to see if the family’s call to action will actually bring about an investigation.

Burglars in clown masks shoved grandma down stairs, shot son-in-law, traumatized kids

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department is looking for a group of men who were wearing clown masks during a home invasion Sunday morning.

One of the clowns shot a man inside, in front of the victim’s young children on Mother’s Day.

FOX 13 spoke to a grandmother who lives inside. She said she started yelling at the clowns before one of them threw her down a steep flight of stairs, landing on top of her wounded son-in-law.

The grandmother asked to remain anonymous, still afraid after what happened to her family.

“My two grandsons, six and five, were right there screaming, ‘Please don’t shoot my dad again,’” the grandmother described. “They’re going to be traumatized for the rest of their life over this.”

The man was shot in the arm and went into surgery, in critical condition.

“It hit his artery,” the grandmother said. “I don’t know if he’s going to live or die.”

The grandmother said the clowns demanded money but left with nothing because the family didn’t have any money to give.

“I’m surprised they didn’t shoot me because I came at him like a ****ing mother bear,” she said. “They have no conscience… These two kids sitting here? What is wrong with you?”

The grandmother went to the hospital as well, with a black eye, a broken rib, and a bruised spleen. She said she’s sore, but not worried about herself, because her injuries will heal.

She’s not so sure about the rest of her family.

“They damaged my grandchildren for life,” she said. “They’re never going to forget that.”

SLCPD so far has not released a suspect or vehicle description, but they are asking anyone in the neighborhood to please share surveillance video or any information they might have about the case.

If you have any information, please call (801) 799-3000.

Salt Lake City Police discuss de-escalation, share video from nonlethal takedown

SALT LAKE CITY — Body cam footage of fatal officer-involved incidents gain a lot of attention.

But Thursday, Salt Lake City Police showed reporters footage of a recent incident where officers managed to de-escalate the situation and prevent a lethal outcome.

Last week, officers responded to a man’s apartment to perform a welfare check at the request of a relative who reported the man was suicidal.

When police arrived, they found the man holding a knife to his neck and threatening to harm himself.

The lead officer called for reinforcements to secure the area and brought in what’s known as a “40” — a nonlethal alternative that shoots large rubber bullets.

He then planned out with his fellow officers how to resolve the situation while staying in communication with the suicidal man.

While attempting to help the man, police also had to have a plan in place in case he tried to attack the officers with the knife.

After a few minutes, police entered the apartment, hit the man with the 40 and a stun gun, and took him to a hospital that night for treatment.

“We’re trying to resolve this in a win-win situation where officers don’t get hurt and we can get this individual some help,” said Det. Greg Wilking. “Because of the training and professionalism of our officers, we have outcomes that are actually good for everyone.”

Police respond to welfare checks like this nearly every day.

They said their primary goals are to protect themselves and their fellow officers, and also to resolve the situation in a manner which gets the person extracted safely and on the way to the help they need.

Police said this incident was a good example of all the training that they do, and putting it to work in a real life situation.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional resources. You can also download the SafeUT app for instant, confidential crisis services.

Officers buy hit-and-run victim a new wheelchair to aid her recovery

HAMMOND, Indiana — Jean Baikauskas was taking her wheelchair across the street near 165th Street and Calumet Avenue in Hammond, IN last September when a white Impala ran through a light and slammed into her.

At the time, Jean was using a wheelchair as she recovered from a leg injury. She was just beginning to walk again thanks to physical therapy, she says, when the hit-and-run accident dealt a blow to her recovery.

Her wheelchair was mangled in the crash, so Jean had to use a walker to get around as she went through three more months of therapy. The walker helped, but she couldn’t get very far. Seeing her friend in need, Lake County dispatcher Kerri Alanza told officers about her predicament.

“It really tugged on our heart strings that one of our residents needed help and endured so much pain. We jumped on board right away and that’s what community is about,” said Michael Elkmann, President of Hammond FOP Lodge 51.

So Hammond police officers, together with FOP Lodge 51, provided Jean with a brand new wheelchair.

“They’re on a limited budget like a lot of us are so this donation was fantastic,” Alanza said.