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Beaver County jail officer accused of domestic violence

Published October 12, 2012 11:21 am

Courts • Deputy behind bars after alleged domestic violence incident.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Beaver County jail officer has been arrested, jailed and fired in the wake of an alleged domestic violence incident that purportedly ended with him considering suicide before being taken into custody.

Sheriff's Lt. Keith Draper on Friday confirmed that 29-year-old Deputy Luke Malcolm Emack, formerly of the sheriff's corrections division, was arrested Wednesday night on a warrant alleging third-degree felony aggravated assault/domestic violence. Emack was transferred from the Beaver County jail to Iron County, where he remained in custody Friday.

Draper referred questions about the specifics of Emack's termination to Sheriff Cameron Noel, who did not immediately answer inquiries. Draper also declined to discuss details of the domestic violence allegations against Emack.

However, a probable cause statement filed Tuesday in Beaver's 5th District Court states that Emack is accused in an Oct. 6 incident involving his girlfriend at the couple's home in Beaver. Emack and the woman had been arguing, and when he attempted to back his car out of the garage, she attempted to retrieve some items from the vehicle.

When Emack allegedly continued backing out, an open car door struck the woman, who then shut the door and threw a shoe at the car while standing at the rear of the garage. At that point, she claimed, Emack then drove the car toward her, forcing her to flee to the door leading into their home.

"As she got to the door, Luke [allegedly] drove the car into a child's bouncy horse, which was against the back wall ... then backed out of the garage and left," Beaver County Sheriff's Lt. Cody Black wrote. "[The girlfriend] stated she did fear for her safety when this happened."

A sheriff's deputy later located Emack, who allegedly acknowledged he had driven the car toward the woman, "spinning the tires," but only to scare her. Emack insisted he did not intend to harm the woman, according to court documents.

A court summons was served Wednesday on Emack. "Mr. Emack responded to the summons by saying, 'My life is over, I don't have any reason to go on.' "

Later, Emack was reported to be standing on the edge of a cliff, talking to a neighbor on the phone. Emack reportedly was talked out of leaping by the neighbor, but deputies — "concerned about Mr. Emack's safety" — then sought a warrant for his arrest.

An initial appearance for Emack is set for Oct. 17 before Judge G. Michael Westfall in Beaver.

remims@sltrib.com