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Tribal police officer allegedly assaulted; case under investigation

By Geoff Liesik | Posted - Nov 16th, 2012 @ 6:21pm

FORT DUCHESNE, Uintah County — Federal agents are investigating an alleged assault on a Ute tribal police officer that resulted in the officer firing multiple shots at the suspect.

FBI spokeswoman Debbie Bertram confirmed the bureau is looking into the alleged assault, which occurred about midnight Thursday south of Fort Duchesne.

Bertram said she could not provide any additional details about the incident, however, because the investigation is ongoing.

Law enforcement sources said a Ute tribal officer stopped a vehicle after a pursuit and was outside her patrol car when the suspect began backing his car toward her. The officer fired more than one shot at the vehicle but did not hit the suspect, the sources said.

The officer was not injured. The driver was taken into custody.

It remained unclear Friday night which agency will review the officer's use of force or whether she has been placed on administrative leave, a common practice in officer-involved shootings.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs provides law enforcement services on the Uintah-Ouray Indian Reservation, where the incident occurred. A message left Friday afternoon for the special agent in charge of the bureau's regional office in Phoenix was not returned.

Geoff Liesik

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