The Park City Police Department responded to a domestic violence call on Tuesday at the Snow Country Condos at the 1150 block on Deer Valley Drive on the north side of City Park. No charges or arrests were made at the time. However, the incident turned more violent on Wednesday afternoon requiring a Negotiator and Swat Team to be called to the scene. Carolyn Murray has this report:
No charges were filed against Andrew Russell Flaherty on Tuesday because the incident was limited to verbal threats. According to Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter, Flaherty left the residence but on Wednesday, the suspect returned at about 3 pm and kicked in the door.
“As officers were responding, he ran to the back room and barricaded with a knife in the back room. We had no idea what access to weapons he had and based on prior history that we’ve had with this individual we felt like we obviously needed to remove the victim from the location and clear all of the surrounding residents for their own safety.”
KPCW was at the scene on Wednesday afternoon. The perimeter of the condominium complex was cordoned off with tape and the area was surrounded by police, sheriff and emergency vehicles. The Swat Team was visible and seemed to surround the complex.
Carpenter says when there is a threat of self-harm, it’s protocol to bring in a Negotiator and the accompanying Swat Team.
“Our negotiator is attached to our multi-agency swat team which is park City Police Department, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Heber and Wasatch County. Like I say, it’s a multi-agency task force. At that point, we started negotiations as best we could with the individual and they were limited. He turned up the music so he wouldn’t communicate with us. We tried communicating through phone lines and other things.”
Eventually, the suspect tried to leave the residence and was taken down by officers and booked into the county jail for psychological evaluation. The charges include, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, domestic violence, intoxication and interference with an arresting officer.
Carpenter says it’s easy for people to get weapons so they had to take appropriate precautions by deploying the Swat team.
“It’s so easy to come into possession of a weapon. For people to think that registering a weapon alone, stops access to weapons, is unrealistic. It’s so easy for people to gain access to weapons. If they have a prior criminal history or violent history, we have to assume that they have weapons.”
The victim was safely removed a little after 3 pm from the scene, right after the 911 call was made. All the residents adjacent to the property were evacuated immediately after the suspect barricaded himself in the residence.
Traffic on Deer Valley Drive was not interrupted and activities in the City Park continued throughout the negotiations and subsequent arrest.