Police: Smithfield man jailed after video shows him throwing sulfuric acid on neighbor’s children

Jason Summers. Photo: Cache County

SMITHFIELD, Utah, June 18, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A Smithfield man is being held without bail after officials say he threw sulfuric acid on neighbor children, then escaped police custody.

Jason Keith Summers, 32, was taken into custody Thursday evening after Smithfield City Police responded to the scene of children in distress.

When officers arrived at the scene, in the 100 West block of 400 North, Summers covered his eyes with sunglasses despite being in the shade, and asked if he could leave while the baby was being attended to, according to a probable cause statement.

An officer reviewing a recording of how the children were injured in the incident reportedly observed that Summers had walked off his property toward the children — said to be 3 and 5 years old –and had thrown a chemically burning substance.

After viewing that evidence, police then ordered Summers to turn around and put his hands behind his back, but instead he turned and ran into his home.

“Officers followed him in and controlled him to the ground where he was handcuffed,” the probable cause statement says.

“He stated he didn’t ‘want to go’ and be investigated ‘again.’ Jason was read Miranda rights. He invoked the right to an attorney but later decided to speak with officers. Jason had medical attend to him because he was stating he was in pain. While being loaded into the ambulance Jason began yelling ‘Sorry’ to his family.”

The probable cause statement says that when Summers was being transported to the hospital, he began to ask to contact the drug task force.

“Jason stated he could help them,” the statement says. “He later clarified he could help by giving them ‘names.’ He stated he interacted with these individuals ‘daily.'”

Asked multiple times what substance he had thrown on the children, Summers said it was dirt, the probable cause statement says.

“Later, it was discovered to be sulfuric acid.”

According to reports, both children suffered significant burns, with the younger child more seriously injured.

Summers told medical personnel he had used controlled substances.

“I observed his body reacting to these substances in uncontrolled spasms and twitching,” the probable cause statement said. “I also observed these caused him pain. He declined medical assistance. He told an officer that he had used ‘after work’ that day, at approximately 1700 hours.”

Summers stated he was nauseous, first when being transported to the hospital, then when being taken to jail.

When officers rolled down a window 8 to 10 inches, in case Summers had to throw up, he was able to squeeze out the window and flee into traffic. Officers regained control of Summers at the side of the road and returned him to the hospital to be treated for road rash. Later, Summers was booked into jail.

While serving a search warrant at Summers’ residence, officers found evidence of a crystalline home cleaner, like that used for drains, which appeared visually similar to what was used in the attack, police said.

Summers is charged with:

  • Two counts of child abuse, a second-degree felony
  • Obstructing justice, a third-degree felony
  • Escape from custody, a third-degree felony
  • Interference with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor
  • Criminal trespass, a class B misdemeanor
  • Disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor



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