12 in custody after riot at West Jordan youth center; suspects assault officers

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WEST JORDAN, Utah -- Twelve juveniles are in custody and others may also face charges after police from two agencies responded to a "volatile" and "violent" incident at a youth center in West Jordan, during which property was destroyed and officers were allegedly assaulted.

Lt. Drew Sanders, West Jordan Police Department, said officers were called to the youth center on reports of a riot Sunday night.

“About 6:30 this evening we got called to Copper Hills Youth Center on a report of several juveniles who were acting out, and in a sense causing a riot," he said. "We responded and found that, yes, multiple juveniles were in here and they were destroying the building.”

Sanders said there juveniles destroying roof tiles, doors and other components of the building, and there were reports staff members at the center were also assaulted.

“Our officers went in and tried to take care of the problem, and as they would go into one area, a problem would develop in another area where we had to call out other assistance from Unified PD," Sanders said. "Eventually, after about three different flare ups, we were able to take people into custody enough so that we could calm the situation.”

About 30 police vehicles responded. Sanders said based on the coordination of the "flare-ups" it appears the incident may have been a planned action by the youth.

“Maybe some collusion occurred to where this was a planned event," Sanders said.

Sanders said right now 12 youth, who are believed to be the ring leaders, are in custody. He said other youth could be taken into custody as the investigation develops and more information is uncovered.

“Again, we’re still investigating," he said. "This is a very volatile and very violent situation that we encountered. We had several of our officers who have been assaulted during this. It’s just a lot to work through, and we’re doing that now.”

Those in custody could face charges that include rioting, destruction of property and assaulting a police officer.

Sanders said they are grateful for the assistance from UPD personnel in resolving the situation.

15 comments

    • h.w

      Pathetic losers? Really? Make you feel big saying that? I think the pathetic losers are the ones that target these kids and bring them down… the parents that physically sexual and emotionally abuse them to the point it turns to a fight or flight instinct. They feel a threat and they do what they know best. I have worked with these children and they ARE NOT pathetic losers. I really hope you feel good about your comment… you are very uneducated on the issue and don’t stop and think about what is causing the behavior. These kids didn’t wake up one day and think it would be great to act out. They have triggers, mainly bad memories of someone that hurt them that should have been a protector. Your comment disgusts me.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        The pathetic losers in the story are the little pukes who now find themselves behind steel bars at Decker Lake. Since these animals have proven that they can’t control themselves somebody else will now tell them when to get up, go to bed, take a shower, and eat. What they really need is a little mothering from Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. When they leave his jail they really don’t want to come back.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        By the way H.W, a lot of these little puke are kids who defied their parents, chose to run around with bad company, and get on drugs despite the best efforts of loving parents. These kids are now facing consequences of their own actions. Only left wing liberals try to shift responsiblity onto the shoulders of others.

      • ANOTHERBOB

        Parents care enough for these kids to spend the fortune it costs to put them in the Copper Hills Youth Center. According to Hillary Clinton it takes a village to raise a child. So who screwed up? The village or the juvenile delinquents?

  • DAN GRAY

    The Youth Center is intended to help troubled youth get back on their feet. Now these little pukes can spend time in a real detention facility. It will help them prepare for a life behind bars where they belong.

    • Denise

      No they dont belong behind bards.. shows how little you know about kids that are troubled.. the school is there to teach them and help them learn to be better … you dont know the stories behind this and if you dont know enough you should keep your mouth shut.. some of the kids there have real mental illness that hinder their ability to know right from wrong.. so no the kids dont belong behind bars … thats a very ignorant and rude comment

      • ANOTHERBOB

        Parents choose to put their children in Copper Hills when they themselves are no longer able to deal with their misbehavior. Now the little darlings who acted up are in a secure facility that DOES have bars. They will now be treated like the delinquents they’ve become.

        And yes Denise, some of these juvenile delinquents have earned lodging in a a detention center with bars where they can no longer hurt others.

  • bob

    This center abuses kids like it’s no issue and gets away with it my quistion is how many kids did they assault screw the “officers”

    • ANOTHERBOB

      Staff at Copper Hills Youth Center deal with kids who have made very poor decisions and are one step away from juvenile detention. The kids who live by the rules get privilages to reward their good behavior. And not, Bob, the staff doesn’t tuck them into bed and baby them the way their mommies do.

    • h.w

      As staff, we go through EXTENSIVE training to learn verbal de-escalation. We learn how to communicate on a level they understand. We also learn how to safely restrain a child that is being a threat to themselves and to other but we learn how to do it with no harm to that child. The worst feeling is having to restrain a child, it is heartbreaking but it keeps them safe. So no… they do not abuse children… I will say they have kids there that are not fixable in this facility and should be somewhere else but we still treat them with respect and hope for the best. Please educate yourself before saying things you know nothing about.

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