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Parking rage? Utah skier fed up with full lot tried to take officer's gun, police say

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Jan 23rd, 2019 @ 5:58pm



BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON — The parking lot at Brighton Ski Resort has been packed on a nearly daily basis this winter, particularly on weekends.

One man apparently fed up with the parking situation took his anger too far, police say, when he allegedly tried to grab an officer's gun.

The incident occurred Saturday while a Unified police officer was working a second job at Brighton Ski Resort.

"The ski resort was very busy and the parking lot was completely full. Parking lot attendants had closed the parking lot and were turning the vehicles around because the lot was full," the officer wrote in a Salt Lake County Jail report.

As Nathan Sheffield Harrison, 21, of American Fork, approached in his car he repeatedly honked his horn, according to the report.

"I approached (Harrison's) car and asked him why he was honking his horn. (Harrison) began yelling and screaming that he had a season pass to ski and that I needed to let him through," the report states.

The officer told Harrison he would have to turn around like everyone else. Instead, he "rolled up his window and drove straight toward the signs and cones blocking the road. A parking attendant stepped in front of his vehicle yelling at him to stop. (Harrison) continued to drive forward," according to the report.

The officer said he started banging on Harrison's window telling him to stop, and the parking lot attendant slapped the hood of his car.

"(Harrison) sat in his car yelling, screaming and waving his arms around," the report says.

The officer said he then opened the passenger door and yelled at the man to keep driving down the mountain.

"(He) immediately grabbed my coat and began pulling me into his vehicle. I yelled for him to exit the vehicle at which time he began pulling and swinging his arms around, hitting me multiple times," the officer wrote in the report. "(Harrison) began swinging closed fists at me and screaming something unintelligible."

The officer said he fought back in an attempt to subdue Harrison but it seemed to have no effect.

"I then felt (Harrison) reaching and grabbing the holster to my gun. I believed he was attempting to disarm me," the officer wrote.

Harrison was able to get the police officer on the ground and push his head into a snowbank, according to the report. "The snow was very deep and I was completely unable to breathe as he pushed my head into the snow.

"I could not see or breathe at this time. I covered my firearm with one hand and was able to kick (him) off of me."

The officer said he pulled his gun on Harrison at one point as he waited for backup to arrive. The man was eventually taken into custody and transported to jail in a police vehicle with a cage.

Harrison was convicted of disorderly conduct in 2016 and 2017. After his 2017 conviction, he was ordered by the court to undergo mental health treatment and anger management, according to court records.

Pat Reavy

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