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Police officers attacked while making an arrest at Fairmont Park

Posted at 7:44 AM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 19:09:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Police arrested two people and are looking for several more after a large group attacked officers at Fairmont Park in the Sugarhouse area of Salt Lake City.

Police went to the park at 900 East and Ashton Avenue Tuesday evening around 8:30 p.m. on a report of a juvenile harassing another juvenile at the skate park.

The officers told the young people to leave the park and no one would be arrested.

They say the teenager then became "aggressively confrontational" and began fighting with police.

When officers started putting handcuffs on the teen, about two dozen people walked up and started attacking them in an attempt to stop the arrest.

"I think the original intentions of our officers was just to tell him he needed to leave the park because he was causing a scene there and people were complaining about it," Salt Lake City Police Detective Robert Ungricht said.  "But when that happened, there was about twenty or thirty people inside that skate park that actually surrounded our two officers.   Our officers did call for additional units for assistance on this."

When the other officers got to the scene, most of the people fled.

The teen who scuffled with police was sent to juvenile detention.

25-year-old Joseph Christiansen was arrested on suspicion of jumping into the fray and assaulting at least one officer.

"We have all ages coming down here to use the park, usually for legitimate purposes,"  Lieutenant Russ Amott with the Salt Lake City Police Department said.  "But, every once in a while, something goes bad."

Police are asking for the public's help in tracking down those who took off running.

They want to hear from witnesses and are especially interested in any cellphone photos or video shot of the incident.

You can call Salt Lake City police dispatch at (801) 799-3000.