Daycare worker arrested over TRAX fare

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WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- A standard TRAX fare check allegedly turned violent when Utah Transit Authority officers arrested a daycare worker. That woman told FOX 13 Monday she thought the officers were unprofessional and unnecessarily aggressive in how they handled her and the situation.

21 year old Shavontae Price takes TRAX to work every day. But last Tuesday, several UTA officers checked her pass, and when they couldn’t verify her identity, that’s when things took a bad turn, Price said.

She claimed one of the officers refused to give her a ticket, but instead used offensive and derogatory language and grabbed her inappropriately to place her under arrest. Fearing for her life, Price said her first instinct was to get away.

“If I didn’t run when I would have something in that type of case would have happened to me that I probably wouldn’t be here today,” Price said.

Price ran the short distance to the 24/7 Daycare where she works, and what allegedly took place there had the entire daycare in shock.

Daycare owner Susan Sutherland said, “I could hear all the commotion. I could hear all the kids screaming and crying and yelling.”

Price said, “The way he threw me in front of them, the way he destroyed my boss’ room, it didn’t have to go that far. I just feel like something should be done to him.”

UTA sent the following statement: “The incident on November 18 continues to be under investigation, but  has not turned up wrong-doing on the part of the arresting officer… The UTA officer was within his rights to pursue the fleeing suspect to the daycare where she worked. Once inside, the suspect was found hiding in a back room and continued to resist arrest. The arresting officer tried to minimize the disruption by taking her out a side door, and he denies using any unprofessional behavior or profanity.”

Price was arrested for providing false information to police, failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, interference with arresting officer, and theft of services. She does not have any prior criminal history. Her employer and co-workers are standing behind her. She has since been back to work.

38 comments

  • Emma

    Ever heard of complying with what your told to do or not to do…instead of running and acting like a criminal? That is what gets people into trouble, and things go way bad for everyone!!! If you have nothing to hide then you shouldn’t act like it!!!!

      • castro

        you people are sick thats whats wrong with white america you love the idea of a POLICE STATE this poor black woman being roughed up chased and arrested over a 2,50 ticket kids in the dayçare screaming because the cops rough her up infront of the kids with people like yall we’ll have the purge in no time so you and the police can sweep through the shelters and excute poor people for petty crimes

      • Thankfully I'm not related to filth like you

        Give it a rest already Stevie boy. None of us are taking very kindly to your uncivil comments about her and none of us are going to just sit around as you insult her because you want your 15 minutes of fame like this officer did. She wasn’t looking for fame and to suggest or imply that she was is just rude. We don’t care to hear it. Please spare us your stupid comments and save them for your Facebook news feed so the only people who have to read it are those who are not decent enough to defriend a man like you. Shame on your family and friends for loving and liking you.

        If you had posted what you just did to your Facebook wall and you were my friend I would cut you off because unlike your family and friends me and mine are good people. We understand right and wrong unlike you and yours. It’s not shocking that what we are dealing with her is the fact that he endangered a lot of people including children over a very minor thing. I guess he doesn’t get to see enough action as a UTA cop and is nothing more then a glorified clown in a clown uniform going around writing people tickets for being on the train without paying. Once she took off he was likely thinking “here we go. I get to go on a chase and assault someone who didn’t pay $2.50. If me slamming her up against a wall snaps her neck I won’t cry at her funeral but will go home to my family and buy them McDonald’s with my money that I earned today and if her family objects I will gladly spend the money I made murdering her on my own family. It will show her and her family.” He can say to his family “I am grateful for the money I make every day and I am grateful for what I do. When people who don’t pay $2.50 run from me I can put them in danger. I don’t care what happens to them as long as I earn my paycheck so I can buy nice things for my darlings. If she died I wouldn’t care because at least my paycheck can buy me a nice car to drive my kids around in.”

        I am sure she was thinking about her 15 minutes of fame every single second he put her life in danger. All over $2.50. That will show her what is what. He can beat her up and do it making more in the time he is beating her up then it would cost her to pay for the ticket. He must be proud of that.

        Hope you enjoy your holiday season with those who are just like you because I am grateful for at least one thing this holiday season and that is that I am not a member of your family and am not related to someone like you.

      • Bob

        Decent society agrees with you Steve Willey. People are expected to pay for services rendered. If this woman had a valid pass the police would have moved on the the next passenger. Simple as that.

      • jewlzzz

        No castro they just got tired of trying to compete with their other angel pants wearing idiots on ksl. Come to Utah everyone! Be the first to check out living breathing zombies! Slack jawed, blank stare, stupid grin that says “gee we’re so glad someone else does our thinking for us”!!!! Oh and this will never be a police state, the church wont let ’em.

    • Emma is a spoiled little brat

      “Ever heard of complying with what your told to do or not to do…instead of running and acting like a criminal?”

      Attitudes like yours are the problem. Ever hear that a person has the right to fear for their safety and the right to run. To refer to someone who was scared as a criminal just because they ran is proof positive that you aren’t a decent person and that those of us who aren’t related to you should be grateful for that. Please share the following message with your family and friends. We do not approve of their love for someone like you. The fact that they love someone like you is a reflection of the kind of people you are associated with.

      Her boss and co-workers stand behind her. I guess they are criminals too. The whole lot of them got it all wrong and Emma the Queen is right.

      “If you have nothing to hide then you shouldn’t act like it!!!!”

      Great use of exclamation points!!!! See, I can use those too Emma darling.

      Let me quote her for you since you are not understanding and need help since your parents didn’t teach you how to be intelligent:

      “Fearing for her life, Price said her first instinct was to get away.”

      What part of that don’t you understand Emma? I can help break it down for you, your family and your friends so that you all can learn something instead of only interacting with other unintelligent people.

      “I could hear all the commotion. I could hear all the kids screaming and crying and yelling.”

      These officers terrorized these children and the owner and employees at her daycare agree with her. The witnesses to what happened all indicate that the officer was unnecessarily violent. His actions which made children scream and cry is all the proof we need that what she said about fearing for her life was true. She came into contact with an officer who is the same kind of person as you are. I am sorry that your parents failed to raise you right just like this parents failed to raise him right but neither of you have the right to behave the way he did.

      Do you need us to teach you both what your parents failed to teach you? Do we need to parent you, Emma, since your parents failed to parent you right? Do we need to do the same for this officer?

      • jewlzzz

        Emma’s not a spoiled brat, she’s a idiot that has obviously lived in a cocoon and has never dealt with reality. Ok emma mommie’s calling you for your milk and cookies so go away and let the adults talk.

      • Bob

        I’ve never heard of the “right to run” EMMA IS A SPOILED LITTLE BRAT. Apparently the police never heard about it either when they went through the police academy. Chasing thieves is one of their specialties honey. The police deal with people who have attitudes like yours, and they always come out the winner.

  • Officer Retard needs a reality check

    There is absolutely zero reason for the UTA Police to exist and granting them general jurisdiction that allows them to leave UTA property to enforce fares is dangerous. It would be like allowing Walmart’s security to run after someone who allegedly didn’t pay for something and follow them into a daycare center and attack them there in front of people including children. Once someone is off of UTA property it’s the duty of UTA to report any alleged crimes and to use any evidence they may have collected to file a police report. Disbanding the UTA police would free up over 5 million dollars a year to improve service or to even assist low income riders in affording to ride the train.

    UTA police don’t really do anything but harass people at certain points of the route in order to generate money from low income people who are riding for free because they have no other form of transit and need to get to work. Maybe they can start spending some of this money in reducing the cost of fares so that those who are low income can afford to use it more without sacrificing buying food or having to walk 20 to 30 miles to work because parasites like this officer are making money off of their hard work..

  • Brenda

    That is my kids daycare, And now my kids are scared to go and my daughter asked me this morning ” mom why do the cops hurt and kill people” Do the cops not see or care what the kids think or see? That is why people don’t call the cops any more and they take things into there own hands. That was not right for them to go into there and do that in front of the kids. I am very upset about this. She was scared she was going to get hurt look how many people have been killed by cops in the last 3 years.

    • Bob

      Decent parents teach their children that their neighbor’s father who is a policeman is a nice decent man who helps those who are in trouble. Sucky parents teach their children to hide under the bed when they see the policeman.
      See the difference Brenda?

      • Brenda

        For one BOB, I do teach my kids that cops are good but when all they see or hear about is cops killing people or hurting people what do you want them to think. I got pulled over on Halloween and the cop was an A hole he kept his stupid light in my kids eyes the whole time and was very rude…… so what do you want the kids to think. They have not had any good things happen or seen happen when they are around. Cops are very rude and ALL they want is there money from there tickets they don’t care about anyone else.. I will stand by my daycare people. I agree running is not good but when she is scare (which I can’t blame her for) I would have ran to. look how many colored people they have killed in the last 2-3 years. So don’t tell me that I am not raising my kids right. Just like anyone when you see something you believe it right because you seen it with you own eyes.

      • Bob

        Brenda – Teach your children the basic concepts of honesty, morality, and common decency, and they’ll find that the police are their friends. It’s an attitude thing Brenda, and if you have a sucky attitude so will your children.

    • Guy

      I would be upset with the owner of the daycare for not reprimanding this employee in some way. If my child went to this daycare and an employee committed theft of services and ran from officers and brought her criminal self into a place where my child was at I would be pissed. You do not bring your problems into where children are at; therefore she endangered the emotional and potentially physical welefare of those children. She should have been fired. Especially if it is proven that she did not have a valid TRAX ticket and therefore committing a crime.

    • KSC

      Instead of getting mad at the cop, maybe get mad at the teacher than ran to the daycare. She is the one to blame for involving children. She knew they would follow her into the daycare.

  • Rachel

    My children attend this daycare and I will stand by the owner! My son was in the room and was terrified by what he saw. The owner does background checks on employees and runs a tight ship and would not have hired someone with “something to hide.”. The transit authority overstepped themselves in the level of aggression used. The officers involved lacked common sense in handling the situation. And the owner is not out for fame or money-she is defending the kids.

    • Bob

      If you think you can run from the police and they’ll let you get away with it your sadly mistaken. The fine for invalid ticket (theft of services)alone is $167.

  • Cassie Jackman

    People, people, people, the woman had a pass, not a ticket. A pass can be worth hundreds of dollars. If someone had stolen your pass, how would you feel? Second, I don’t care what color you are, what gender you are, or where you work, not being able to identify yourself to a police officer (and yes, UTA police officers are REAL police officers) and then running from them is criminal behavior. What if she WAS a dangerous criminal that ran into that daycare? All the cops know at that point is that she’s not matching up with her pass and she could be anybody. But, hey, they didn’t shoot her in the back, right? Let’s go light something on fire anyway and show Ferguson how it’s done.

  • Mimi

    Oh my gosh, lady, really??? YOU made the choice to run to the daycare and traumatize those kids and cause the office to be “destroyed”. If I was a mom of one of those kids, I would be livid at you and I hope you were fired along with being arrested. Your life was not in danger and you know it. The fact that you were only thinking of getting away from the police and not thinking about how running into a place with children inside while being chased by officers would affect those children should be one clue that you were almost entirely in the wrong here.

  • Bob

    The Mormons have nothing to do with the police arresting someone for theft of services JEWLZZZ. It happens every hour of every day in every city with public transportation. Riding without paying is stealing and there are consequences associated with that crime.

  • Dustin Baugh

    Don’t resist arrest.

    If you think the charges are unfair and want to fight it do it afterwards when everything you and they do is on record. If you’re right your lawyer can demolish them. If you resist arrest it hurts your case and the judge will throw the book at you.

  • Willie

    If you didn’t do anything wrong why run. She caused all the problem by stealing free rides and fleeing from the Police. Her bad decision got her the attention and caused the problem.

  • D

    Title 77, chapter 6, section 15. You only have to identify your name, address and actions if an office suspects your involvement in a crime. You do not have to provide ID nor have any on you.

    Lack of payment on UTA is a Class 1/1a infraction and can only be punished by fine. You can not lawfully arrest someone. That would qualify as an unlawful arrest.

    Miller v. State, Housh v. People, State v Rousseau and the list goes on. You have the right, even the use of deadly force given under that kind of threat, to resist arrest if that arrest is unlawful.

    This isnt about how you “should” act. This is about the police not understanding the laws which they are supposed to know. I dont know all of the details of the situation but judging from what has been stated in the news the only thing the officer had justification, including the law on their side, to do was to ask her to identify herself, issue her a ticket and ask her to leave the premises unless she purchased ticket. Perhaps there was more to it though.

    • Bob

      The suspect can try explaining your bogus interpretation of the law to the judge. Good luck with that. Among the charges she’ll be hit with will be theft of services.

  • Tank Berrett

    All the personal feelings aside, there should be video of some of these interactions that we may not be privy too. I support speaking out about issues with UTA. This should not be a game of who did the least amount of wrong. Each should take responsibility for their actions. Confront the truth the devise procedure to lessen the chances of the issue repeating.

  • Linda

    As a grandparent of one of the daycare students, and a certified educator, I can’t believe this situation couldn’t have been handled differently. My grandson, who is five, described the whole incident to me last night. It was still very scary for him. I don’t see any reason the UTA police couldn’t have contacted the management of the daycare and asked to speak to the person instead of as my grandson described it throwing her down on a desk, breaking the desk and handcuffing her in front of the children. Not only could those children have been injured, but now they are scared of the police. I read where some people were critical of the parents. I know for a fact that my son and daughter in law are excellent parents and they spent a great deal of time helping him deal with that scary experience. It was a UTA ticket. Was that worth traumatizing a whole classroom of children?

    • Bob

      It was the thief who chose the location for her take down. Put the responsibility on the shoulders of the person who chose to steal a ride.

      • Tressa

        Bob you keep stating that the Woman is a thief, as if that is your only valid point, or she deserved this because she stole a ride from the UTA. This is a women that takes the trax everyday, I’m pretty sure she is aware of the expectations and consequences. The officer in West jordan had no issue with her PASS earlier that morning, you keep refering to her as someone that just walked onto the trax and never paid, also it was stated the the officer refused to just give her a ticket and let her be on her way. I would also like to make a guess that you don’t live in west valley or visit often, I do there is a reason that the police are frequently on the news. I have a spotless background, and have had quite a few unpleasent encounters with the police force here including one where I was mistaken and almost arrested for a girl that was not only a foot taller then me but looks nothing like me. I realize that the trax police and the west valley police are not the same thing but haven’t you heard enough about the way they handle everything in such an overaggresive manner to stop and wonder just for a second that maybe they were overzealous. This girl has No criminal background she works with children by choice, rides the trax everyday, so when she says she ran because she felt unsafe and was scared of what the officer would do to her, I believe her, I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same. The fact that she ran to her work, a place she feels safe adds to her not being criminally minded person. The officer already had her name, he couldn’t have found her another way did he really need to tackle her in front of kids over a $250 ticket did he even need to give chase. Why ca

      • BOB

        TRESSA – She was arrested for providing false information to police, failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, interference with arresting officer, and theft of services …. and it’s the police are at fault? Quit makng excuses for her behavior.

  • D

    Title 77, chapter 6, section 15. An officer can only ask you for your name, address and actions. They have no right to demand ID nor are you required by law to have it nor present it.

    Lack of a ticket on UTA is a Class 1/1a infraction. Punishable only by a fine. It is not an arrestable offense.

    If the details so far given on this story are correct the arrest was unlawful and she had the right to resist by whatever equivalent means necessary(even deadly force if it was in response to attempts of serious harm). This has been held up in federal court in numerous states numerous times. . The officer was in the wrong. Time to get a good lawyer and educate them.

    We should all obey the law and pay your way but the authorities should be taking the higher ground, they are in a position of authority after all, and not that of an uneducated bully which seems to be more and more the normal these days.

    • BOB

      What part of providing false information to police, failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, interference with arresting officer, and theft of services is it that you don’t understand?

  • JEWLZZZ

    It is a theft of services to ride TRAX knowing you don’t have a valid pass. If caught you will be detained and fined. Running from the police and hiding in a closet is the act of a suspect that knows they got caught and are now in trouble.

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