Clinton mom says man brandished gun at 13-year-old's snow cone stand

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CLINTON — When the price wasn't right for an icy treat, out came a gun.

A 13-year-old Utah boy and his mom were rattled Thursday following a bizarre and unnerving encounter at the boy's snow cone stand.

Emily Carter said her son, James, was simply operating the stand on 1000 West on Thursday when a black Dodge Charger stopped.

"He said that this guy pulled over, there were four people in the car, and the passenger asked him like, 'Oh, the snow cones are two for $1, right?'" Carter said.

Carter said her son quickly asserted they were $2 each, as displayed on the sign. During the price discussion, the boy said that the driver got upset.

"And the passenger pulled out a gun and showed it to him and brandished it," the mother recalled.

James could only comply, standing just feet from his aunt's house.

"I had a panic attack when I started because the machine wouldn't turn on," the boy said via a video call from his dad's house.

Carter said her sister and 4-year-old came out briefly during the exchange, compounding the stress.

"He didn't want her to get hurt or her child to get hurt either," Carter said. "He just kept doing what he was doing and laid low and was just trying to get the guy away from here."

She said it was even more bizarre when James returned with the cones, the strangers paid and then simply left.

"We think that the guy thinks he was being funny, but really he just terrified my son," Carter said. "They drove away, and my son just immediately packed up by the time my sister came back out."

The family contacted the Clinton City Police Department and filed a report.

"(I was) scared," James said. "(I was) super frightened because I never thought that would ever happen to me."

Carter said what happened was definitely not funny and hoped anyone with information about the case would contact Clinton police.

"(James) expressed that a couple of times — like, 'Mom, I thought I was going to die,'" she explained. "It's not hard to go to the worst-case scenario, and my son's going to have to deal with the trauma of thinking he was going to die."

The mother said the best description James and the family could offer was that it was a pre-2007 black Dodge Charger. She said the driver was skinny with a nose ring, and the passenger was larger. According to the boy, two women were in the back seat, and everyone appeared to be between the ages of 20 and 30.

Carter said she also believed the case highlighted the need for families to discuss safe words with their children.

"That allows the kid to communicate when they're not in a safe situation — whether they're on the phone with a parent or one-on-one," She said. "If my son had been able to communicate to his aunt that he wasn't safe, maybe things would have been a little different."

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Andrew Adams
Andrew Adams is an award-winning journalist and reporter for KSL-TV. For two decades, he's covered a variety of stories for KSL, including major crime, politics and sports.


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