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Attempt to scare teens leads to criminal charge for Orem man in devil mask, police say



NEPHI — An Orem man is facing a criminal charge after police say he frightened a group of teens in a remote area in the early morning hours — first with a Halloween mask and then by allegedly threatening to pull out a gun.

The 33-year-old was charged last week in 4th District Court with threatening or using a dangerous weapon during a fight, a class A misdemeanor.

The odd incident started about 2:30 a.m. on May 21 when two vehicles with teenagers were stopped at a light on state Route 132 in Nephi Canyon.

“The area is mostly a two-lane road and is currently under road construction with portable traffic lights controlling one-way traffic in both directions,” a police booking affidavit states.

While the teens were stopped at a light, a pickup truck came up from behind. A passenger in the truck “donned a black devil Halloween-style mask” as the Orem man “drove up next to the teen’s vehicles with the intent to scare the teens,” court documents state.

The teens continued driving when the traffic light turned green, but “were extremely frightened due to the behavior of (the people in the) vehicle” as well as it being “the middle of the night … and (in a) remote area,” according to the affidavit. The teens say at the next traffic light, one of them “retrieved a rifle” from the trunk of one of the vehicles “in case they needed to scare (the man) away.”

At the next traffic light, the man again drove up behind the teens, got out of his pickup, and while walking toward the teens “reached toward his waist for what the teens described as a gun. The teens screamed to the drivers that (the man) had a gun and the teens ran the red light to get away,” the charges state.

The teens contacted police once they got to Ephraim and had cell service again. The Utah Highway Patrol found the driver of the pickup. At first he denied ever getting out of his truck, but then admitted he did get out of his truck after the teens provided troopers with cellphone video contradicting his story, the charges state. The man also told investigators that he “did not feel threatened by the (teens’) rifle and did not think it was a real rifle.”



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