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Salt Lake City family involved in SWAT situation alleges police misconduct

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The family involved in a SWAT situation in Salt Lake City this past Saturday is claiming police misconduct. 

It all unfolded while Salt Lake City police officers were responding to a domestic violence call.

However, the call would result in the Salt Lake City SWAT team being called out and Francisco Yanagui arrested and jailed. 

The Yanagui family at the center of the misconduct claim tells ABC4 News, they called the Salt Lake City Police Department for help with Francisco’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child.

Instead they claim they were detained and accused of kidnapping a child who was found unharmed.

The family says they were getting together to celebrate a family member’s birthday.

The family involved in a SWAT situation in Salt Lake City over the weekend is claiming police misconduct speaks with ABC4 News Jason Nguyen

“When the party started about like 2p., she came and dropped off the kids and they were in the backyard with us for a while. It wasn’t until like 5p that she showed up here again and started fighting with me and my aunt,” says Ida Yanagui. “So I called the cops and I told them that she was here and that I had a restraining order against her.”

Ida tells ABC4 News SLCPD officers spoke with Francisco’s ex-girlfriend first.

“When they came over here to get our side of the story, they wanted to speak to my brother, and I was like my brother had nothing to do with the incident, it had to do with me, his ex-girlfriend, and my aunt,” explains Ida Yanagui.

SWAT Team at a home near 700 N Starcrest Drive

At some point during the incident Salt Lake City Police called out a West Valley City officer.  

In a video provided by the Yanagui family the officer is heard saying, “We don’t want to escalate this issue, this situation, we want to engage in a calm matter while we are all working together right?”

West Valley officials say they were there because Francisco Yanagui, “violated a protective order by showing up to the WVC apartment of his child and the child’s mother and taking the child.”

In a separate video provided by the family you can see officers attempting to detain Francisco Yanagui. 

His sister Ida recalls, “When he took a seat the three police officers attacked him, and then it turned into complete chaos because when the officers jumped on top of him we were all in the way. They didn’t ask us to move. They didn’t tell us that he was going to get arrested.”

She says during the chaos her husband tried protecting her because she’s three months pregnant.

“And they were pointing their tasers at me and my husband and cousin both got in front of me and they were yelling at the officers, ‘she’s pregnant, she pregnant, my wife’s pregnant she’s high risk you can’t taser her,” she adds.

In the video, you can see her husband taken to the ground. Ida says she was taken to a patrol car while her family retreated inside the home.

“And I kept telling him that I was pregnant and he pushed me against his cop car and my stomach hit the hood of his car, and he handcuffed me,” she says. 

SWAT Team at a home near 700 N Starcrest Drive

Ida says she kept asking officers for medical attention to deal with the pain.

“They told my family that I couldn’t go to the hospital until they came out. That I wasn’t going to receive any medical attention unless they came out,” she adds.

Aunt Noreida Acosta who the birthday party was for says she was inside the home calling 911 at the time. 

“The officer I was talking to, he said, ‘If you guys don’t cooperate we are not going to get the young lady in the car help,'” says Acosta.

Once a SWAT team arrived, Acosta says, “They had lights going into our house. They had guns pointing at our house.”

West Valley City Police tell ABC4 News 20 people inside the home came out except for Francisco and his child.  

SWAT Team members eventually entered the home taking Francisco into custody. The child was found unharmed. 

West Valley City Police booked Francisco Yanagui for kidnapping and four counts of violating a protective order. Several other family members were detained and released with charges still pending that include obstruction of justice. 

“I think they handled this situation terribly, we called them for help and we weren’t even protected. They violated all of our rights. We were arrested when we were calling them for help,” says Ida Yanagui. 

Salt Lake City Police provided ABC4 News with the following statement: 

As this is an open and active investigation we cannot provide any more detail about what occurred that night. A review of any force used will be conducted by two separate supervisors, as is required with all uses of force per department policy.

The Yanagui family says they are speaking with lawyers before making a formal complaint.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney is currently screening the charges against Francisco Yanagui.

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