SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Caught on camera is a man allegedly aiming a bow and arrow at protesters. A local who recorded it shares his reaction and police officials respond.
“I turn around and point the camera back and sure enough, there’s like a 6 foot 3 white man pointing a cross bow at people and it turns into a full frantic meltdown,” said Jackson Druce, who recorded the moment a man gets out of his vehicle with a bow and arrow at Saturday’s protest in Salt Lake City.
Druce said he so happened to be streaming the protest on Instagram Live when he said someone screams, “Who’s the guy back there with the bow and arrow?”
Druce’s video shows him walk toward the situation and within 20 seconds, protesters began to take down the man with the bow and arrow. Within less than a minute, Druce’s footage shows officers arrive on scene.
“And then not to mention it plays out where the cops go and grab him, pull him back and let him share a false story on the news,” Druce said.
Detective Greg Wilking, a public information officer with Salt Lake City Police Department said as his team works to investigate the situation, he said officer’s first made contact with the man during the assault.
“They didn’t see the bow and arrow part of this whole incident. So, they basically go in and rescue him,” Wilking said.
As officers pulled the man with the bow and arrow from the crowd, Wilking said they gave him medical attention and let him go – as he said they didn’t know what was going on moments before.
“It wasn’t until that information was shared – basically through the media – when I started getting calls that we knew about an individual who had pulled out a bow and arrow,” Wilking said.
As Druce recounts this situation with ABC4 News Monday, he said the man’s actions appeared to be malicious.
“I’m definitely convinced that he was there to cause harm and I hope that he gets prosecuted accordingly,” Druce said.
And he said he hopes these kinds of situations stop.
“I hate seeing this stuff,” Druce said. “It really sickens me. I know that one day we can see a world where racism and police brutality isn’t a thing that pops up on my every time I go to check Instagram.”
While no charges have been filed at this time, Wilking said his department is screening video footage and taking witness statements.
“We would encourage anybody that has any evidence or information to victims – or they’re a victim – to reach out to us so that we can put that case together,” Wilking said.
If prosecuted, Wilking said the man could face charges of aggravated assault.
“We think that we might have enough to charge him with an aggravated assault at this point,” Wilking said. “But ultimately that decision rests with the DA’s [district attorney] office. We’ll screen those charges and go from there.”
If you or someone you know has information or video footage, Wilking said you can call the Salt Lake City Police Department’s non-emergency line at 801-799-3000.
Wilking said the man identified himself on Saturday, however, SLCPD is not releasing his name until charges have been screened and a warrant issued. ABC4 News is choosing to withhold the man’s identity at this time.