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Walkie-talkie helps save Utah officer's life

Published December 5, 2012 12:01 pm

Lucky cop leavesuninjured as round lodges in hand-held.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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 Provo police officer's walkie-talkie helped save his life during an officer-involved shooting.

About 12 officers, from both the Provo Police Department and Utah County Sheriff's Department, were forced to retreat when a "no-knock" drug warrant at Alex J. Opmanis' residence in the 400 South block of 900 West was met with gunfire on Nov. 19. Officers returned fire and retreated.

Police then entered the home through the back door and took Opmanis by surprise. He surrendered without further resistance. No one was injured, but police later discovered that one of their own had a close call.

"They did find that twenty-two [caliber] round lodged inside his [walkie-talkie] microphone, which he was wearing along with his other protective gear," said Provo Police Sgt. Brandon Post in an interview Wednesday.

The officer was not injured by the impact, Post said, though the walkie-talkie was a loss.

In addition to an attempted homicide charge, Opmanis was booked on suspicion of marijuana distribution and possession of a weapon by a restricted person.

During a Tuesday hearing, Opmanis' attorney asked the court to reduce his bail to $9,999, but that request was denied. Also Tuesday, a competency hearing was scheduled for Jan. 15.

mmcfall@sltrib.com