Update: Juvenile in custody after officer-involved critical incident in Vernal

Photo: Vernal Police Department

VERNAL, Utah, March 20, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Uintah County Sheriff’s Office has released more information regarding an officer-involved critical incident that occurred Thursday night on Main Street in downtown Vernal.

Probation officers were attempting to make contact with a probationer at about 11:10 p.m. when they put out a call for back-up. Officers from Vernal Police Department and Uintah County sheriff’s deputies responded to assist.

The person who was taken into custody is a 16-year-old male who is on probation with the state Division of Juvenile Justice Services, the sheriff’s office news release said.

An earlier statement released by Vernal P.D. said the officers “encountered the probationer, who had his hands concealed around his waist. An officer believed the individual had a weapon.”

When the teen advanced on the officer, a K9 was deployed and shots were fired by the Vernal police officer.

No one was struck by the officer’s shots, and the officers involved suffered no physical injuries, the sheriff’s office said Friday.

“The juvenile was treated at the hospital after being bitten by a police K-9 during the incident. He was then booked into Split Mountain Youth Detention Center in Vernal. There is no ongoing threat to the public,” the news release said.

The entire incident is being investigated by the Utah County Officer-Involved Critical Incident Team because Vernal police officers and Uintah County sheriff’s deputies were involved.

Main Street in Vernal was closed from 500 West to 700 West while the investigation continued, but the area has since been reopened.

Gephardt Daily will follow up on this story as more information is released.


  1. Wow a 16 year old. These bullies were intimidated? Even after releasing a k9 some lame fired shots? Good thing he sucks at shooting. So please tell me…. Did this boy have a weapon???? I doubt it. And these so called professionals were scared and started shooting? Oh a paid 2 week vacation huh for the bitch firing. Y’all just want to kill him and Fuck all of you talking down to this teen. Y’all so perfect and were raised so right. You dont k now what he’s been through. Guarantee these vernal finest blew it out of proportion and got trigger happy. They suck and should be fired. How bout helping this boy. I would love to see there body cam videos. Yes they wear that because they are murderers and get away with it. Too much power. A k9 couldnt stop a 16 yr old without a weapon? Most cops are evil and anyone wanna talk shit about what I just said without facts because I have them and have seen them come see me.


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