Man Arrested In Pleasant Grove SWAT Standoff Released After One Week

Mar 24, 2021, 6:30 AM

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – Seven days after a SWAT standoff in which police said shots were fired at officers, the man arrested in the incident was released from jail.

37-year-old Robert Sterling Clark had been booked on suspicion of multiple felonies related to the Mar. 16 situation near 550 East and 500 North in Pleasant Grove.

According to investigators, witnesses said Clark had been yelling and firing a gun in the air. When officers arrived and set up a perimeter, they said he began shooting at them.

Following exchanges of gunfire and the deployment of gas, jail documents said SWAT team members eventually took Clark into custody after using an armored SWAT vehicle to enter through the front door and window.

On Tuesday — one week later — sheriff’s officials and prosecutors confirmed Clark had been released from the Utah County Jail on a judge’s order.

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt told KSL Tuesday evening that prosecutors filed a motion Monday to extend custody until charges were filed, but the judge did not hear or consider the motion and ordered Clark to be released.

Leavitt said a second judge approved the motion, but it was too late — Clark was already free and on the streets.

Bob Carroll, Clark’s uncle and the owner of the home where the standoff took place, said he couldn’t believe that his nephew had been released.

“We’re definitely dealing with somebody who isn’t stable, who has a history of mental illness,” Carroll said. “I don’t think a 7-day observation and release are in line with the activities that happened on this property a week ago.”

Leavitt said prosecutors were planning to file charges soon in the case and they could subsequently seek an arrest warrant after Clark had been charged.

Carroll said he feared for the safety of Clark as well as neighbors and anyone who might interact with him.

“He’s probably not in his right mind to be able to live on his own and be responsible,” Clark said. “The justice system failed Sterling today.”

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Man Arrested In Pleasant Grove SWAT Standoff Released After One Week