Man files lawsuit against Utah County Sheriff's Office


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A man who used to live in Utah County says it's taken four years to finally get his name back. He blames the Utah County Sheriff's Office and a deputy for that, saying it forced him to move away from the area.

Man files lawsuit against Utah County Sheriff's Office

Back in November of 2004, the Utah County Sheriff's Office received a call of gunshots near a Lehi neighborhood. A deputy went there and found William Rieck. From there, things only got worse.

"There's probably not a day that goes by you don't reflect to that evening," Rieck said. It's been close to 1,500 days since the one day he says changed everything.

Rieck says that night, Utah County deputy Scott Jensen investigated a call of gunshots. He found Rieck and wrote the following in his report: "I asked him if he was shooting a gun and he denied it. ...I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person."

Rieck says Jensen then came onto his property without a warrant. Rieck turned to leave but says Jensen tackled him and sprayed him with Mace.

Robert Sykes
Robert Sykes

Some Mace got in Jensen's face, which allowed Rieck time to get to his truck.

In his report, Jensen wrote: "He did back his truck away from me and then drove it forward towards me, causing me to be in fear for my life."

Rieck says no way. "It's a blatant lie. I wouldn't do that," he said.

Jensen then called for backup. A SWAT team arrived and arrested Rieck. But Rieck claims they kicked and hit him, fracturing one of his ribs.

His attorney says Rieck wasn't drunk and deputies sensationalized a lot of their report to the media.

"The people of Utah were left with the impression Bill Rieck was a crazed madmen who barricaded himself in his house, and that's not true," attorney Robert Sykes said.

Man files lawsuit against Utah County Sheriff's Office

A judge eventually dismissed all the charges Rieck was facing, including assault on a police officer. Last month, the Utah Court of Appeals upheld that decision, but the state still has 30 days to appeal again.

"It's very hard on you mentally, very hard," Rieck said.

We left messages with the Utah County Sheriff's Office and the Utah County Attorney. So far, we haven't heard back from them.

You can look at the lawsuit, the original police report and more documents from this case by clicking the related links to the right of the story.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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Alex Cabrero

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