A pair of undercover officers say 10 to 14 club-wielding men charged at them and threatened to kill them, advancing even after the officers identified themselves as Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies.
A group of people were chatting Sept. 4 in an LDS Church parking lot at 12275 S. 2700 West when a woman who lived across the street approached them and asked them to leave, said sheriff's spokesman Levi Hughes.
Shortly thereafter, a group of more than 10 men in their early 20s emerged from the house and ran toward the parking lot, swinging baseball bats, golf clubs and broken broomsticks, Hughes said. They identified themselves as Juggalos, which is the nickname for fans of the painted-face rappers, Insane Clown Posse. The victims fled and notified authorities, Hughes said
Two deputies who were working undercover in the area parked their unmarked car near the same church, stepped outside and began chatting in the same parking lot, Hughes said. Again, a woman from a home across the street asked them to leave.
When they did not, 10 to 14 men ran out of the house with weapons and threatened to kill the two deputies, proclaiming that "No one [expletive] with the Juggalos," detectives wrote in charges filed Monday.
As the group neared, one of the deputies drew his gun, said he was a peace officer and ordered the group to drop their weapons and drop to the ground, Hughes said. The group was undeterred until the officer identified himself a second time, Hughes said. The group began to run from the officers, who chased down one 18-year-old.
Unbeknownst to the two officers, another team of investigators was preparing a search warrant for the same house, Hughes said. That warrant was executed the next day, when "several" other men were arrested, Hughes said.
One of the deputies recognized a man who had been holding a golf club. The Riverton 18-year-old was charged in 3rd District Court with second-degree felony aggravated assault. Other charges may follow, Hughes said.
Some Juggalos who have taken the title as a gang affiliation were suspected in two violent crimes this year in the Salt Lake Valley. In September, two teens with their faces painted like clowns were arrested in West Valley City for allegedly trying to kidnap a 5-year-old boy. In July, two suspected Juggalos attacked a Kearns teen outside his home with a knife and a four-bladed replica of a medieval battle ax topped with a spiked ball, police said.