Paul Rolly: County cop who blew through crosswalk comes clean

By PAUL ROLLY

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: June 13, 2014 07:22AM
Updated: June 12, 2014 10:19PM
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Paul Rolly

After my Wednesday column about the Unified Police Department officer who blew through a crosswalk while jogger Nancy Ballard was in it and then turned around — with siren blaring and lights flashing — to bully her after she shouted that it was a crosswalk, something inspiring happened.

I got a call from Steve DeBry, chief of the UPD’s Millcreek Township section, who wanted details about the incident. I put him in touch with Ballard so she could give him a firsthand account.

DeBry, who also serves on the Salt Lake County Council, told Ballard and me that it is never acceptable for a cop to drive through an occupied crosswalk, and he vowed to find out which officer it was.

By Thursday, he had identified the officer and confronted him. He told me the officer was remorseful, realized his mistake and said it wouldn’t happen again.

DeBry also expressed his apologies to Ballard.

A Father’s Day salute • Austin Stinnette made plans to take his stepfather, Bill Huntzinger, to dinner this week to celebrate Father’s Day early.

Huntzinger, the store manager of Habitat for Humanity ReStore, has a special hankering for elk burgers, which are hard to find in restaurants.

Stinnette, hoping to surprise his stepdad with that rare treat, researched where he could find elk burgers and discovered that Cabela’s offers them at its in-store cafe.

So after Huntzinger finished work Monday, the two headed for Cabela’s. They arrived only to find the cafe had just closed.

Stinnette mentioned to the cafe manager that they were there for an early Father’s Day dinner and when the manager asked if they could come back the next day, Stinnette said he was being deployed to Afghanistan and this was his last chance.

The manager asked Stinnette to which branch of service he belonged. He said the Marines.

The manager said he too had been a Marine and then ordered the staff to reopen the kitchen.

The two were the only diners, and Huntzinger got his elk burger.

The big-tent theory • Utah Democrats are having fun on their Facebook pages and blogs over the scorched-earth approach Republican congressional candidate Mia Love seems to be taking in her fundraising.

Scores of well-known Democrats have received Love’s letters pleading for campaign cash accompanied by bumper stickers they are encouraged to place on their cars.

The recipients include Democratic state Rep. Patrice Arent, former communications director of the Utah House Democratic Caucus Eric Ethington and former Salt Lake County Democratic Chairman Weston Clark.

“We don’t discriminate,” said Dave Hansen, Love’s campaign manager. “We want everyone to have the opportunity to support Mia Love.”

prolly@sltrib.com