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Teen attacked officer at Brighton High, tried to grab her gun, police say

A teenager was arrested at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights on Thursday after police say he tried to grab an officer's gun. (Canyons School District)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A teenage boy attacked a school resource officer at Brighton High School on Thursday and attempted to grab the officer's gun, police say.

No one was seriously injured thanks in part to a parent who took the officer's Taser off her utility belt and used it on the boy.

The chaotic scene happened about 8 a.m. at the high school, at 2220 E. Bengal Boulevard. A boy had gone to the counseling office with his mother to try and be reenrolled. Cottonwood Heights police declined Thursday to release the boy's name or age, but they said he is the same boy who in 2019 caused a scene by throwing a food additive powder into a school bus at Butler Middle School.

Cottonwood Heights Police Lt. Dan Bartlett said the boy — who has an "extensive history" with police — was attempting to reenter the school after being expelled for the prior incident. But on Thursday, the boy began to "cause a scene" for an unknown reason shortly after arriving at the counselor's office and the school resource officer, who works for the Cottonwood Heights Police Department, attempt to escort him out of the building, he said.

The boy attacked the officer, according to Bartlett, choking and punching her, then trying to grab her gun while threatening to use it against her and others.

As the officer struggled with the teen, she kept her hands on her gun to make sure he didn't get it. Several other parents who saw the commotion joined in and attempted to pull the boy off of the officer.

The officer then instructed one of the parents to take the Taser off her utility belt and use it on the boy, Bartlett said. The parent was able to unlock the safety feature and successfully deploy the Taser, he said, which allowed the officer time to place the teen into custody.

The officer was taken to a local hospital to be treated for bruises and bite marks, the lieutenant said. The teen was also checked out at a hospital per protocol because a Taser was used on him, before being booked into juvenile detention for investigation of aggravated assault on a police officer, assault, attempting to disarm an officer and disorderly conduct.

Bartlett said the police department is grateful that there were "good people there" who were willing to jump in and assist the officer.

The Canyons School District released a brief statement Thursday afternoon, applauding the actions of police, parents who helped and school employees.

"We are grateful that those involved did not suffer serious injuries. While we are not releasing specifics about this isolated incident because of student privacy reasons, we want our community to know great measures are taken every day to keep our school campuses as safe as possible."


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