PROVO — Provo police are investigating threats made online against one of their officers following the arrest of a soccer coach who either tripped or fell while being escorted to a patrol car.
On Sept. 21, Provo police were called to Grandview Park, 1460 N. 1050 West, because of a dispute between two soccer coaches. Both claimed they had reserved the same field for their team to practice.
One coach, Nery Antulio Rodriguez, was asked to leave by police. When he refused, he was arrested for investigation of trespassing.
The arrest was filmed on a cellphone by at least one witness and posted on Facebook, including Rodriguez’s own Facebook page.
As Rodriguez was being escorted in handcuffs off the field and to the parking lot where the officer parked his patrol car, “The officer said that Rodriguez would not walk on his own and he had to push on his arm to make him move. According to the officer, Rodriguez said, ‘Don’t push me like that,’ and then Rodriguez fell to the ground,” the warrant states.
At issue was whether Rodriguez was pushed to the ground, tripped on his own or purposely dropped.
Rodriguez, according to family members, hit his head on the pavement and suffered serious injuries. They say he was pushed.
But following an internal review of the arrest, the officer was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The investigation into trespassing and obstruction by the coach was still ongoing as of Tuesday.
Police are also continuing their investigation into alleged threats made against the arresting officer.
According to a search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court, “Several people in the vicinity were upset at the officer believing he was the one who caused the male to fall.
“Over the course of the past week several people have posted online threats toward the officer involved,” the warrant continued.
One threat was a video posted on an Instagram account.
“In the modified video, the suspect posts a picture of the officer involved with a knife stabbing into his head. Given the recent threats of violence, the city attorney was consulted about the video and footage. They advised they believed the crime of threats of violence towards the officer was committed,” according to the warrant.
Provo Police Sgt. Nisha King said Tuesday that the investigation into who owned the account was continuing.
“We take serious any threat of violence,” she said.