LOCAL NEWS

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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Carissa Hutchinson/KSL TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher and Madison Swenson, KSL TV

Gateway Inn demolition begins; community relieved and excited for new development

The first day has wrapped on demolition of the Gateway Inn, a building neighbors have long begged to come down.
23 hours ago
(Kie Hale)...
Andrew Adams

Family says wreath stolen from grave of veteran in South Ogden

Family members said a holiday wreath left at the grave of a longtime public servant and veteran appears to have been stolen, and they were calling on the thief to return it.
23 hours ago
Sheree Warren disappeared on Oct. 2, 1985, after leaving an office building in Salt Lake City....
Dave Cawley, KSL Podcasts

New development: Suspect in missing woman case recently failed a polygraph test

A suspect in a nearly 40-year-old Utah cold case has refused an offer of immunity from criminal charges.
23 hours ago
A woman who was allegedly driving a pickup truck that ran a red light and killed another driver in ...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

10 months after a fatal crash in West Valley, prosecutors believe they know who caused it

A woman who was allegedly driving a pickup truck that ran a red light and smashed into another car, killing the driver in West Valley in February, is now facing criminal charges.
23 hours ago
Major Kristen 'BEO' Wolfe...
Mike Anderson

Hill AFB Demonstration Team leader very confident in F-35

F-35 pilots at Hill Air Force are moving forward at full speed even though the investigation of a crash at the base last October is still underway.
23 hours ago
...
Jed Boal

Utah family gets ‘a measure of justice’ in 50-year-old rape case

A 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped repeatedly over two years by three men in the Cache County town of Clarkston. The Utah Department of Public Safety is now apologizing to the family for the failure of justice, which occurred more than 50 years ago.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
West Valley Man Defends Home From Alleged Robber