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Kristin Murphy, KSL

Charges filed in attack on school resource officer

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Jul 17th, 2019 @ 6:07pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of attacking a school resource officer with a piece of wood has been charged, more than two months after the alleged incident.

Kalen Clark Cook, 21, of Bluffdale, was charged July 12 in 3rd District Court with aggravated assault/using a weapon on school property, a second-degree felony; possession of a weapon by a restricted person, a class A misdemeanor; trespassing, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, all class B misdemeanors.

On April 29, Unified police officer John Clark was working as a school resource officer at South Hills Middle School, 13508 S. 4000 West, when a man carrying a "long wooden board" was spotted on the recreation fields of the school, according to charging documents.

When confronted in the faculty parking lot, Cook said he was "here with the girls," the charges state.

Clark ordered Cook to put the board down. Instead, he walked over to a car occupied by a school employee and attempted to get in, according to charging documents.

"At that point, officer Clark attempted to restrain Cook but Cook then struck officer Clark in the face several times" with the board, the charges state.

“Don’t you know I can (expletive) kill you?” Cook asked Clark, the charges state. “What are you doing? I can (expletive) kill you.”

Clark was able to push Cook away and draw his Taser, the charges state, but Cook continued to ignore the officer's commands. Clark's Taser was deployed three times with no effect, according to court documents.

"When more officers arrived, they were able to physically gain control of Cook's hands and place him in handcuffs," the charges state.

Cook was holding a pocketknife when he was arrested and had marijuana in his pockets, according to court documents.

Clark was taken to a local hospital in serious condition for being hit in the head several times with the board.

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