WEST JORDAN — Criminal aggravated kidnapping charges were filed Monday against a West Jordan police officer in connection with a domestic violence-related incident.
Court documents also indicate that the officer has threatened suicide multiple times and pointed weapons at people and a dog while making threats.
James Michael Harvie, 30, of Orem, is charged in 4th District Court with aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony, in addition to domestic violence in the presence of a child and assault, class B misdemeanors.
The investigation into Harvie includes two former girlfriends who each portray Harvie as a former Marine with an explosive temper who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and as a person who has numerous guns that are always loaded, according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court.
The incident that led to formal criminal charges allegedly happened on Aug. 22. Harvie and a girlfriend had been arguing for "a couple of hours," charging documents state.
As Harvie's anger continued to grow, he "obtained and displayed a handgun and AR-15 rifle during the argument. (The girl) knew that (Harvie) always kept these guns loaded," the charges state.
The woman had confronted Harvie about cheating on her. Harvie ordered the woman to get in his truck with him to go and "confront third persons that the couple were discussing in the argument," according to the charges.
The woman initially refused, prompting Harvie to allegedly yell more demands and threats at her.
"She was terrified that (Harvie) would shoot (her) while a 6-year-old child was playing just outside the room. (She) continued to refuse (his) instructions due to fear of being killed while leaving the home," the charges state.
"He wanted to confront the girls making allegations about him," the woman told police, according to the affidavit. "He shouldered the rifle and looked through the scope while it was pointed in my direction, and he moved it down then up my other side."
The woman continued to refuse even after Harvie took the safety off his gun, according to the charges. He eventually gave up and she refused to leave with him.
The next day, Harvie and the woman had another argument, according to police.
"During this argument, (Harvie) made a dramatic motion to slap (the woman) in the face with his hand but stopped just before connecting with (her)," the charges state. "(Harvie) also shoved (the woman) and then elbowed (her) in the chest causing bodily injury."
"(She) expressed to James she was scared because the prior night, she thought he was going to kill her in the front room. She said her daughter was going to walk in from the front yard and see it. The victim also said she thought James was going to kill the both of them and her daughter was going to have to walk in and find them," according to the affidavit.
West Jordan police released a brief statement Monday saying that Harvie had been arrested by Saratoga Springs police.
"James Michael Harvie has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the criminal case and the results of a corresponding internal investigation," West Jordan police said in a prepared statement.
Beyond the statement, West Jordan police declined Monday to answer questions about Harvie, the case or the officer's history with the department, citing the ongoing investigation by Saratoga Springs police.
Harvie was booked into the Utah County Jail on Friday.
A former roommate of Harvie, Spencer Heaton, said Monday that he remembered him for explosive outbursts.
"I think it was so obvious," said Heaton, who added that he lived with Harvie and another man in American Fork while Harvie was training to become a police officer. "And if they would have done any digging they would have seen what we saw."
Heaton said he is troubled by Harvie's status as a police officer.
"It just blows my mind that they hired him," he said.
Harvie's girlfriend didn't report the alleged incidents for some time because she was "extremely terrified for her life and thought no one would believe her. She disclosed that the suspect told her, since he is a police officer and so are all of his friends, they will believe him over her," the affidavit states.
Investigators also spoke with another woman who said she dated Harvie and she described "some extremely serious and frightening behavior," according to the affidavit. She said she was "concerned for innocent lives" and said Harvie would brandish his weapon and "mentioned taking out his co-workers."
The women said Harvie threatened to kill a dog multiple times and had held a gun and large knife to the dog's head and neck.
The second woman told police that Harvie "told her many times that he was going to "bash her face in and send her to the hospital," the affidavit states.
Harvie reportedly served several deployments to Iraq while with the U.S. Marines. He became a police officer in 2013. Investigators said Harvie owns at least 20 guns, has weapons and ammunition hidden throughout his house, owns military body armor, and "has extensive history and experience with explosives," according to the affidavit.
One of the women said Harvie has PTSD "and has threatened suicide many times. He has held guns to his head and made threats. He has also pointed guns at ex-girlfriends during an argument and made threats to them while doing so," the affidavit states. "It was disclosed that during the seven to eight months (one of the women) lived with James, he put a loaded firearm to his head or face on numerous occasions. She said this would occur sober or intoxicated."
Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence is available 24/7 at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or visiting udvc.org.
Contributing: Ladd Egan, Ben Lockhart