Posted by Travis Uresk | March 1st, 2023 | Domestic Violence |
By Travis Uresk
Vernal, Ut.- On 2/26/23, Vernal Police were dispatched to a residence in Vernal about a domestic violence incident. A twelve-year-old juvenile male in the home had called 911, reporting that his father was armed with a weapon and was currently in his mother's room with his brother and heard him cock the gun.
Officers arrived on the scene and were able to have the juvenile exit the home safely. He provided more information indicating a domestic situation in which the father was armed with a weapon with two other siblings and his mom still in the home.
Officers had responded to previous domestic calls at the residence.
Officers were able to establish phone communication with the male subject in the home, who was identified as 33-year-old Austin Michael Yates. Yates came out of the house to meet with officers, and he denied that anything was going on this evening and questioned our presence there.
In speaking with him, he had slurred speech, upper body sway, bloodshot eyes, and an odor of alcohol coming from his person.
Officers were able to enter the home and contact the spouse, and she told the Officers that she believed we were there to find her dead body.
She stated that on this evening, alcohol had been consumed and that Austin was upset and slammed some doors. She said she just tried to go to bed, hoping that everything would calm down as usual, indicating this is an ongoing issue within the home.
There was mention of an AR-15 weapon, and she dismissed it because she stated she had previously removed all the guns from the home. She said that he produced an AR-15 rifle that she didn't know he had.
He cycled the action, cambering a round, and pointed it at her and her three-year-old sleeping in the same room.
A live round also was found in the home's front den area, indicating that perhaps the weapon had been present upon officers' arrival to the call.
This round and the round ejected from the chamber of the weapon had primer bolt strikes indicating they had, in fact, been chambered into the firearm.
The statements made by the spouse correlated with those made by the juvenile that had escaped from the home.
Officer Roth returned to speak with Austin and asked him more about what had transpired and, more specifically, about the rifle, which he continued to deny anything of the nature happening.
Austin Yates was placed under arrest. He was put into handcuffs and escorted to a patrol vehicle. At the patrol vehicle, he actively fought the officer's attempts to place him into the vehicle to be transported to the Uintah County Jail.
This is a continued pattern of behavior with this individual, which continues to escalate with each event. There have been two separate arrests over the past year for similar offenses, despite plea agreements with conditions violating this offense.