West Valley Man Defends Home From Alleged Robber

Nov 6, 2020, 5:45 AM | Updated: 2:32 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A West Valley City reportedly fought off an attempted robber who was trying to break into his home.

The incident happened Thursday in the area of 3200 South and 3600 West at approximately 11:40 p.m.

The resident on Friday said the suspected robber wasn’t alone.

Police received a call about a fight, and when they arrived they discovered a man with a bloody head was lying in the street, and another man was nearby with a shotgun in his hand.

Authorities said the alleged robber was attempting to break into the house when the homeowner came out holding the gun. The resident said he chased off a man who was in the street when another person reportedly charged at him with a knife.

The gun was never fired, but the homeowner was able to wrest the knife away and hit the suspect in the head with the butt of the gun, said Lt. Bill Merritt with the West Valley City Police Department.

 “I was going to shoot him, but I didn’t have a bullet in the chamber,” homeowner Keoki Matu said. “I was just using it to scare him.”


He said it was not the first time his family and others in his neighborhood have had to deal with incidents like these.

“Last week, we were all sleeping and someone knocked our door down and they ran off,” he said.

The 21-year-old said he was eating a late-night dinner Thursday when he heard a scream and glass breaking. He was already feeling on edge, and the attempted break-in was the last straw.

“I was like, ‘OK, I’m sick of these guys,” Matu said. “… I ran up, grabbed my gun, and I came out and I saw a guy in the middle of the street. I yelled at him and he started running, and so I chased after him.”

As Matu was walking back to his house, he said he saw another man approach him holding a knife.

“I told him to back off, and he was still coming at me with his knife,” he said.

Matu then struck the man in the face with the barrel of his shotgun.

Police said the man who allegedly advanced on Matu with the knife is Laulej Erakrik, 39.

“He is lucky that is all that happened to him,” Merritt said. “It could have been a lot worse. That’s actually a deadly force situation, and the homeowner would have been in his rights to pull the trigger on that when he is coming at him with a knife.”

Matu said he is just did what he had to.

“I’m just glad the people in this neighborhood are safe,” he said.

Police said Erakrik was highly intoxicated. He was the only suspect taken into custody, and he is facing residential burglary and aggravated assault charges.

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West Valley Man Defends Home From Alleged Robber