Teen tackled, detained by police after being mistaken for suspect inside Provo ice arena

Feb 27, 2023, 6:28 PM | Updated: 10:22 pm

PROVO, Utah — A 16-year-old boy was wrongly tackled and detained by law enforcement after he was mistaken for someone else inside Peaks Ice Arena in Provo.

According to a press release from the Provo Police Department, officers were called out by the Utah State Bail Enforcement Agency at approximately 5:25 p.m. Sunday. The department asked for help apprehending a suspect accused of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

Police said bondsmen entered the facility, located a teen who was playing in an indoor match, and tackled him to the ground. He was detained, according to the release, with the help of a Provo police officer.

“It was really, really crazy,” said Raul Baizabal, 16-year-old Uriel’s father.

Baizabal said officials had their knees on Uriel’s back and were pushing his head into the turf. But Uriel had done nothing wrong.

“Well, they didn’t even get to see my face fully because they’re behind me,” said Uriel, who was playing goalkeeper during a soccer game at the time he was tackled. “I was focusing on the play until someone grabbed on to me, and I was like, ‘What the heck’s going on!'”

After some intense and confusing moments, officers realized Uriel wasn’t the person they wanted.

Shortly afterward, the correct person was found at the arena and arrested.

“That kid came and said, ‘I’m the person you’re looking for.’ So he came and said, ‘Yeah, I’m here,” Raul said.

The family says police simply should have done better.

“How don’t you see the face is not the same? Please,” Raul said.

Dad is grateful what happened to Uriel didn’t end up even worse.

“I was so confused,” Uriel said.

“I feel like they were going to kill my son,” Raul said. “It’s good to have the police. It’s very good, but they have to take it easy.”

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Teen tackled, detained by police after being mistaken for suspect inside Provo ice arena