LOCAL NEWS

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.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Officer Describes Being Attacked By Man Wielding Wooden Plank