EXCLUSIVE: Officer Describes Being Attacked By Man Wielding Wooden Plank

May 2, 2019, 6:28 PM | Updated: May 3, 2019, 4:52 am

RIVERTON, Utah — A Unified Police officer attacked and beaten behind a middle school returned to work with a black eye and a hero’s welcome.

Officer John Clark was called out to the back of the school to investigate a strange man who suddenly showed up at South Hills Middle School in Riverton on Monday afternoon.

Officer Clark said the man, who police later identified as 21 year old Kalen Clark, would not give a clear answer as to why he was there or what he was up to.

“The first thing he said is, ‘I’m here with the girls’, which spiked my interest right away,” said Officer Clark in an exclusive interview with KSL TV’s Dan Rascon. “Is he being serious? What girls is he talking about? Was he watching girls.”

Officer Clark said the man would not provide proper ID and then attempted to get into a school employee’s car while the employee was still inside. That’s when officer Clark moved in for the arrest.

“(I) tried to pull him to the ground and as I grabbed his arm the other one had the 2X2 [4 foot board] in it and that’s when I got struck in the head. It hurt and after we wrestled I could see my face was bleeding,” said Officer Clark.

Officer Clark was hit and beaten several times during the two minute struggle. He finally managed to kick his radio towards school hall monitor Stephanie Olsen, and asked her to radio for help.

“It was horrifying, it was my worst nightmare watching this happen,” said Olsen to Rascon. “There was really nothing I could do to help him while he was protecting the school, he was protecting me and the students.”

Olsen picked up the radio and called for help.

“He told me to tell everyone there was an officer injured and that we needed back up and to give a location and that’s what I did,” he said.

Help soon arrived and officers managed to arrest Kalen Clark after having to taze him three times. Police say they did find a pocket knife on him.

Other than a black eye and a bruised face, Officer Clark says he’s doing well. His office was full of thank you notes of heroism when he returned on Thursday afternoon.

“I hate that word [hero] just for the fact I’m doing what any officer would have done. Come out and do what we are assigned to do,” said an emotional officer Clark. “My thing was he wasn’t going to win… it’s my position is to be here and to make sure these kids are safe.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A local rap battle held Saturday, June, 22, 2024, helped raise funds for the victim of drive-by sho...

Brianna Chavez

Local rap battle helps raise funds for victim of drive-by shooting

The family of a teenager shot in a drive-by shooting in Murray last month is grateful for the support of a niche community.

5 hours ago

(Zoë Petersen, Deseret News)...

Hanna Seariac, Deseret News

Washington County attorney says no evidence of a candidate acting inappropriately in signature gathering

Washington County Attorney Eric Clarke also said there was no evidence of a candidate or the company acting inappropriately. He said he was looking into the matter to do his due diligence and build public trust.

5 hours ago

Traffic was backed up on Interstate 15 near milepost 285 Saturday evening following a felony stop o...

Mark Jones

Kidnapping suspect arrested near Point of the Mountain

The Utah Highway Patrol says a kidnapping suspect has been arrested Saturday evening near the Point of the Mountain. 

7 hours ago

With wildfires starting to pop up around the state, Stage 1 fire restrictions are now in place in s...

Alex Cabrero

Stage 1 fire restrictions now in place for southern Utah

With wildfires starting to show up around the state, Stage 1 fire restrictions are now in place in southern Utah as announced Friday by the Bureau of Land Management. 

7 hours ago

Highway 128 covered in mud after a severe storm swept through Grand County on Friday. (Grand County...

Kyle Remund, KSL NewsRadio

Cleanup begins after severe storm in eastern Utah

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement earlier Saturday detailing both the damage caused by the storm and the efforts of first responders because of it.

9 hours ago

FILE: Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday, June 20, 2...

Associated Press

2 crop dusting airplanes collided in southern Idaho, killing 1 pilot and severely injuring the other

Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday and crashed to the ground, killing one of the pilots and leaving the other with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

EXCLUSIVE: Officer Describes Being Attacked By Man Wielding Wooden Plank