WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- It all started when a hall monitor found a group of kids skipping class in the Granger High School gym. That’s when a confrontation between a student and a school officer began to escalate.
Ben Horsely, Granite School District spokesman, spoke about the incident.
“The students became somewhat belligerent, and the hall monitor requested some assistance and our school resource officer, the police officer who was on scene here, responded to help out,” he said. “The student belligerency got more elevated.”
A hall monitor requested assistance around 10:45 a.m. when a group of students were being aggressive while being written up for skipping class. Officials said when the officer arrived, one sophomore boy in particular refused to cooperate when he was asked multiple times to go to the office and to take off the hat he was wearing, which was gang affiliated.
“He repeatedly failed to follow the officer’s instructions,” Horsely said. “At that point, the student began to use profane language, using the F-word, references to pork products, really inappropriate things.”
That’s when other students began to back off.
“A bunch of just madness happened,” said Oliver Jimenez, a student who witnessed the event.
“The student then became very confrontational physically, got in the officer’s face, chest bumped with him,” Horsely said. “At that point in time, the officer withdrew his Taser, placed it on his side and when the student confronted him again implemented and deployed the Taser.”
“Then we just saw the Taser, it was just complete madness,” Jimenez said.
But officials said it’s not clear whether the stun gun worked correctly because the student, who is described as being 6-feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds, started fighting with the officer.
“They probably wrestled for about two or three minutes,” Horsely said. “The student trying to take the weapon from the officer until the officer was able to subdue him, and two other officers responded and put him under arrest.”
There we no injuries to either the student or the officer. Afterward, the boy was apologetic but will be facing disciplinary action with the school district and the city.
“Unfortunately, due to the circumstances, wrestling with the officer trying to take his weapon is facing some likely criminal charges, resisting arrest, and I’m not sure of the technical term, but trying to take the officers weapon,” Horsley said.
The school is still looking into the incident, but officials said the police officer's actions were reasonable and the stun gun was used as a last resort.