Teenager Subdued with Stun Gun After Attacking School Officer, Police Say

Police say that a teenager and former student at Brighton High School in Cotton Heights, Utah, attacked a school resource officer and tried to take her firearm. A nearby parent removed the officer’s Taser from her belt and used it on the teen before there were any serious injuries, according to local news sources.

The incident occurred at about 8 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 19. The teen and his mother arrived at the school’s counseling office to try to reenroll him after he was expelled for a previous incident; authorities did not disclose his name, but they confirmed that in 2019, he caused a hazmat situation by throwing white powder (later determined to be a food additive powder) onto a school bus. Cottonwood Heights Police Lt. Dan Bartlett said that the teen had an “extensive history” with police.

In the counselor’s office, police say he began to “cause a scene” shortly after arriving. A school resource officer who works for the police department was called to escort him out of the building. According to Bartlett, the teen attacked the officer by biting, choking and punching her, as well as trying to take her gun. The officer kept her hands on her gun to make sure the student couldn’t get it.

“He indicated he was going to use that gun against everyone,” said Bartlett, “so it was crucial that he kept control of that firearm.”

Several other nearby parents intervened. The officer told one of the parents to remove the stun gun from her belt and use it on the teen, which the parent did successfully. The officer took the teen into custody.

The officer was treated for bruises and bite marks at a local hospital. She escaped serious injury and returned to the school that afternoon. The teen was also examined by medical professionals—following police protocol for situations in which a Taser is used—and was then booked into the Salt Lake County Juvenile Detention Center. Authorities are currently investigating charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, assault, attempting to disarm an officer and disorderly conduct.

“Canyons District applauds the quick actions of the Cottonwood Heights Police, Brighton High employees, and parents who responded to an altercation with an adolescent on campus Thursday morning,” said Canyons School District spokesman Jeff Haney in a statement. “We are grateful that those involved did not suffer serious injuries. While we are not releasing specifics about this isolated incident because of student privacy reasons, we want our community to know great measures are taken every day to keep our school campuses as safe as possible.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at MJones@1105media.com