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Utah gun rights advocate Aposhian arrested for alleged threats

Published May 29, 2013 3:34 pm

Crime • Clark Aposhian allegedly told couple he would drive his army truck over their cars.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Outspoken gun-rights advocate Clark Aposhian was booked into jail Monday after allegedly driving a 2-ton army truck to his ex-wife's house in Cottonwood Heights and making threats to one of the people who lived there.

Aposhian said Tuesday that he wouldn't offer any comment on the incident except to say that the statement the alleged victims gave to police was false.

"Their statement is so far removed from any semblance of truth as to be categorized in the bizarro world," Aposhian said after being reached by phone.

According to a probable-cause affidavit from the Salt Lake County Jail, Aposhian, the chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, showed up at the property Monday afternoon and honked an air horn outside the residence. Police say Aposhian turned around by backing into the driveway and almost hit a vehicle already parked there.

The ex-wife, who told police that she was in a custody dispute with Aposhian, described the confrontation as "ongoing harassment" and asked them to investigate. According to jail documents, Aposhian's 11-year-old daughter was present during the incident and told police she was scared when her father showed up at the house.

The woman's husband called Aposhian and asked him not to come by the house again, jail documents state, and Aposhian allegedly said he could go wherever he wanted, adding that he would run over their cars and "bury" him.

Aposhian's attorney, Mitch Vilos, said his client never made any such threat to the man. If anyone was threatened during that phone call, it was Aposhian, Vilos said.

"He's not a threatening guy," Vilos said. "He knows better."

Vilos said Aposhian was in the neighborhood to talk to some friends and that he was driving around with a friend of his in his flag-draped truck to celebrate Memorial Day. Aposhian did use the driveway of the woman's house to turn around, but it was only because the truck was so big.

Vilos said that his initial investigation has turned up plenty of witnesses who would be willing to say that Aposhian was not angry that day and had no intention of harassing or threatening anyone.

"I'll be surprised if the city even prosecutes this," Vilos said.

According to jail documents, Aposhian returned to the house in a Dodge Magnum as police were on the scene and started yelling at the residents, saying he couldn't believe they had called the police, according to the affidavit.

Vilos said Aposhian returned to the house to offer to clean up any tire marks he may have left.

But police said he wasn't allowed to go anywhere, and they detained him while they investigated further — but not after confiscating a gun Aposhian reportedly told officers he was carrying on his side.

Shortly after, Aposhian was booked into jail on suspicion of several misdemeanors, including harassment, criminal trespass and domestic violence. He also had four outstanding warrants for misdemeanor traffic violations.

Under Utah law, anyone convicted of domestic violence may no longer legally own a firearm and would forfeit their concealed carry permit.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion