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Utah skier angry over full parking lot pushed officer into snowbank, attempted to take his gun

Posted at 3:07 PM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 23:52:06-05

BRIGHTON, Utah — Police arrested a man on January 19 after he assaulted an officer working a second job at Brighton Ski Resort and attempted to take his firearm.

Police arrested Nathan Harrison, 20, on charges of aggravated assault, disarming a police officer, failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, disorderly conduct, failure to obey signs and interfering with an officer.

The officer, Mark Curley with Unified Police Department, was working a “secondary assignment” at Brighton Ski Resort and said in the police report that on January 19, he was easily identified as a police officer.

Curley said in his report that around 10 in the morning, Brighton Ski Resort was very busy and the parking lot full. Parking lot attendants were turning vehicles around.

The report states Harrison began continuously honking his horn as he approached the turn around point. Curley approached Harrison’s vehicle to ask why Harrison was honking his horn.

According to Curley’s report, Harrison yelled and screamed that “he had a season pass to ski” and he should be let through. The report states Curley responded that Harrison would need to turn around like the other drivers, after which Harrison rolled up his window and drove straight towards the signs and cones blocking the road, not stopping until a parking attendant slapped the hood of Harrison’s car.

Curley reported he tried to get Harrison to roll down his window several times, which Harrison did not do. Instead, Curley wrote Harrison sat in his car, yelling, screaming and waving his arms around, obstructing traffic and ignoring Curley’s commands.

The police report states Curley then opened the door of Harrison’s car and yelled that Harison needed to turn his car around and head back down the mountain. According to the report, Harrison responded by grabbing Curley’s coat and began pulling Curley into his vehicle.

Curley yelled at Harrison to exit the vehicle, and according to the report, Harrison then began “swinging his arms around,” hitting Curley multiple times. Curley disconnected Harrison’s seatbelt and pulled Harrison out of the vehicle, after which Harrison began “swinging closed fists” at Curley and “screaming something unintelligible,” the report states.

Curley wrote he tried to get Harrison down on the ground, but to no avail, while Harrison continued to swing at him. Curley said in the report he delivered “multiple distractions blows” to Harrison’s jaw and face, which also had no effect.

According to the report, Curley was able to get Harrison down on the ground and attempted to pin Harrison to the ground, when Curley said he felt Harrison reaching grabbing the holster to Curley’s gun. Curley wrote he believed Harrison was attempting to disarm him. The report states multiple witnesses confirmed Harrison tried to disarm Curley, and that they filled out statements to that effect.

The report states Harrison was able to roll Curley over and push Curley’s head and chest into a nearby snow bank. Curley reported he was unable to see or breathe as Harrison pushed his head into the snow.

“I covered my firearm with one hand and was able to kick [Harrison] off of me,” Curley reported.

Curley then said he called for assistance on the radio and drew his gun on Harrison, commanding Harrison to lie on the ground. According to the report, Harrison did not comply, squatting instead. Curley reported he holstered his weapon and engaged with Harrison again, holding him on the ground until backup arrived.

When backup did arrive, the police report states a backup officer was able to place Harrison in cuffs while Curley continued to hold Harrison on the ground. After being handcuffed, according to the report, Harrison continued to struggle, trying to pull and break the handcuffs.

Harrison is currently being held in Salt Lake County Jail.