Woman jailed after allegedly Tazing 9-year-old boy riding scooter with friend outside Riverton church

April Lori Shurtleff. Photo: Salt Lake County

RIVERTON, Utah, Oct. 8, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A 37-year-old woman has been booked into the Salt Lake County Jail after she allegedly used a Taser on a 9-year-old boy who was riding a scooter in a church parking lot in Riverton.

April Shurtleff has been charged on suspicion of:

  • Two counts of child abuse, infliction of serious physical injury intentionally, a second-degree felony
  • Two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
  • Two counts of threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor

A probable cause statement filed in the case says that an officer of the Riverton Police Department was called to the area of 12920 S. 2700 West after an assault.

“It was reported that a 9-year-old male (victim 1) had been Tased in the church parking lot at this location,” the statement says. “It was reported that the 9-year-old victim was conscious and breathing at the time.”

The boy had been riding scooters with his 10-year-old friend (victim 2) at the location, a meeting house of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The officer approached the younger boy, who was able to speak clearly despite his cries of pain, the statement says.

“He was obviously distraught and crying in pain as he laid on the grass in front of the church. I asked V1 if I could lift up his shirt to check for injuries and he agreed. When lifting up his shirt, I noted two marks on V1’s chest at the nipple line, that from my training and experience, looked to be from a two prong taser.”

The younger boy was treated by medical personnel, and the officer interviewed a witness who heard the scream and saw a car speed away, but did not see the assault.

“When she looked over, the female suspect turned her face so that W1 (witness 1) could not see her. She described the female as having dark, curly hair, and possibly was in her 40s. She described the suspect vehicle as brown.”

The 10-year-old boy said he and his friend had been riding their scooters when they noticed a beige passenger car pull into the parking lot and park on the south side of the building where they were playing.

“V2 noticed the female in the driver seat holding her phone horizontally, possibly filming them, and felt uncomfortable. V1 and V2 decided to get away from her and go to the park for a moment, which is just north of the church.”

The boys returned some time later, when they believed the woman had left, the 10 year old said.

“When they began riding their scooters again, they noticed the vehicle was still there, but continued what they were doing,” the police statement says.

“V1 stated that he rode behind the females car, and she rolled down the window, showing him and V2 a portable personal protection Taser. She then yelled ‘I am going to fucking tase you!’ At this time, V1 and V2 started riding away from the vehicle, but noticed the woman began backing her vehicle out of the stall, and driving toward V1 at a high rate of speed.

“V1 then began running, stating he feared the suspect was going to hit him with her car. V1 then said the female stopped the car, got out and began chasing him. She eventually caught up to him, reached her arm from behind, and placed the taser on V1’s chest, activating the taser for what V1 described as about 4 seconds. V1 began screaming and crying, and the female quickly got into her vehicle and drove away.”

The children said the attacker was a short woman with dark, curly air and a missing tooth, and she was wearing a purple floral dress. The car was beige and had a U of U sticker on it, they said.

The 9-year-old victim said he saw the car speed from the parking lot and turn south on 2700 West. Footage from multiple security cameras was examined. At least one contained audio of the incident.

“After footage of the vehicle was released, a female identifying herself as April Shurtleff, admitted post Miranda that the vehicle was hers, but denied owning a taser or threatening the boys. She then later stated she did have a taser and showed the boys, but did not use it on them. April advised Officers where her vehicle was, and admitted that the taser was in the trunk of her car in a red bag. Officers searched the trunk and found a personal use two prong taser, which looked to match the burn marks on V1’s chest.”

Shurtleff is being held without bail, and is considered a danger to the community, court documents say.


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