Police: Utah man tried to hit witness with metal detector
Crime • He was unhappy that he lost a small-claims case, according to the charges.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police suspect a Heber City man was unhappy about losing his court case — and turned a metal detector into a weapon against a witness.

The man was charged in 4th District Court on Wednesday with recklessly shooting or propelling a missile and aggravated assault. If he's convicted, he could up to five years in prison for each count.

On March 8, the man lost a small claims case in Heber City Justice Court. He walked out of the second floor courtroom behind a witness who testified against him, "not very content with the judge's decision," a bailiff noted in a statement.

"[The man] was mad that he lost and basically with no regard to [the witness'] safety intended to cause serious bodily injury and pushed the metal detector down the stairs" while the witness was walking down, the bailiff wrote.

The bailiff came running and asked what happened. The man said he had tripped and used the metal detector for balance, causing it to fall, but a review of a surveillance tape "clearly" showed he hadn't tripped and had pushed the detector, the bailiff wrote.

Now the detector's lopsided and missing parts. On top of the man's criminal charges, Heber City wants restitution for fixing the machine.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

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