BODYCAM: Man Attacks Officer with Baton, is Fatally Shot
Plus: Reflections from a retiring Lt. on his second bad day ...By Calibre Press | Oct 30, 2017
The Salt Lake County District Attorney has ruled that an officer who shot and killed a suspect in a Maverik parking lot on September 28 was legally justified, and videos show the suspect assaulting two officers.
DA Sim Gill and Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown gave a press conference Wednesday announcing the decision, during which they showed body cam footage from one officer, surveillance from the Maverik and video captured by a bystander.
Gill said things began police were called about Michael Bruce Peterson, who had allegedly assaulted an employee while trespassing at a salon at 363 South and 500 East in SLC on September 28. Video shows officer Greg Lovell first speaking with Peterson, asking him to come over and talk to him.
The man continues walking, and Gill said while the suspect is out of view of the camera he tried to enter the officer’s vehicle. The officer told him to stop, and Peterson began walking away.
Lovell follows the suspect at what Gill called a safe distance until the man reached a Maverik at 300 South and 508 East, where Peterson got into a Jeep. Gill said Lovell observed the man was acting erratic and potentially under the influence, and he was concerned that if the man started driving he may hurt someone.
After the suspect entered the vehicle, the owner of the Jeep came out of the convenience store and told the suspect to get out his car.
Lovell asks the man to get out of the car, and eventually deploys a Taser on him. Gill said the suspect became “enraged” after being hit by the Taser, got out of the Jeep and began punching Lovell.
The body camera footage becomes difficult to follow as the hand-to-hand altercation ensues, but surveillance cameras show the officer retreating across the parking lot as the suspect follows.
At this time Lt. Andrew Oblad arrived on scene to respond to Lovell’s call for backup and saw the suspect assaulting Lovell, who dropped his baton in the altercation. The suspect picks up the baton and begins attacking Lovell with it, striking him several times.
Gill said Oblad tried to divert the suspect’s attention from Lovell.
Lt. Andy Oblad can look back on the majority of his law enforcement career with positive memories.
“There were a lot of times where I felt like I was making a difference in people’s lives,” he said.
But during his 21 years of service to Salt Lake City, Oblad also recalled, “I had two really bad days in law enforcement.”
The first was Feb. 12, 2007. The second was last month, Sept. 28, during the last shift of his career with Salt Lake police.
On both those days, Oblad had to use his gun to protect citizens and his own co-workers.
“My worst two days were Trolley Square and the day at the Maverik,” he told the Deseret News. “They’re just hard. They’re just hard things to do as an officer.”
In 2007, Oblad was among the first officers to enter Trolley Square to confront Sulejman Talović, 18, who randomly opened fire on unsuspecting shoppers, killing five and wounding four others.
Then on Sept. 28, Oblad responded as backup to a call for help from Salt Lake police officer Gregory Lovell, who was trying to stop Michael Bruce Peterson, 39, for questioning.
As Oblad stepped out of his patrol car, he could see Peterson punch Lovell in the face and then grab the officer’s baton and use it against him. Oblad confronted Peterson in the parking lot of Maverik on the corner of 300 South and 500 East.
“He says, ‘Oh, you want some of this?’ And grabs that baton like a baseball bat and starts running at me. And that’s when I think, ‘OK, you don’t want to give up,’” Oblad recalled.
He shot Peterson, who died from his injuries. The shooting was ruled to be legally justified by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
The lieutenant, who had previously announced his retirement, was supposed to work through that weekend. But when he was placed on standard paid administrative leave due to the shooting, it resulted in that being his last shift in uniform.
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