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

Casey Scott gives away gas cards on Feb. 23, 2024. (KSL TV)...

Casey Scott

Casey Scott surprises drivers with free gas cards on Friday

Casey Scott is back from vacation and ready to finish the week strong with some gas card giveaways!

1 hour ago

Fewer than two in five people in the US have gotten the flu vaccine this season, according to CDC e...

Kiersten Nunez

Utah faces unusual flu season with third pediatric death

The latest update from Utah Department of Health shows a third child has succumbed to influenza during the current season. Health experts are raising concerns over the unusual patterns the state is seeing this year.

2 hours ago

Utah lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prohibit the Utah attorney general from engaging in ...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Legislature seeks to bar attorney general from private law practice while in office

Lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prohibit the state attorney general from engaging in private practice while in office.

2 hours ago

Police say a man was injured after he illegally crossed a Salt Lake City road Thursday night. (KSL ...

Josh Ellis

Man seriously injured after crossing SLC street, police say

A man was hospitalized with serious but not life-threatening injuries after he was hit by a truck Thursday night.

7 hours ago

Homeowner Mark Shea tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt he paid someone to build a deck who abandoned the j...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Homeowners ask why authorities can’t shut down an unlicensed contractor

Two Salt Lake County homeowners hired and paid someone to build decks for their homes but say he left the jobs unfinished. Turns out, he’s been cited by the state for not having a contractor’s license before.

16 hours ago

Tony Arriaga, owner of Beehive Gloves, creating and relacing baseball gloves at his work desk....

Brianna Chavez

West Valley City business asking for used gloves to repurpose and donate

A West Valley City business is hoping to give back to the community by giving new life to old baseball and softball gloves.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

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.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

EXCLUSIVE: Officer Describes Being Attacked By Man Wielding Wooden Plank