Utah man charged with hate crime for using stun device during racially motivated assault of black neighbor

(Courtesy of Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office) Mark Olic Porter

A federal grand jury returned an indictment on Friday charging a former Draper man with a racially motivated assault against a black neighbor and his young son last year in which the defendant shouted a racial epithet and zapped the neighbor with a stun device.

Mark Olic Porter, 58, is charged with one count of “interference with housing” for allegedly interfering with the neighbor because of his race after he had moved in nearby.

Porter on Nov. 3 allegedly yelled “n-----” and said “get out of here” to the victim and his 7-year-old son, and allegedly used a “stun cane” to assault the victim, referred to as M.W., resulting in bodily injury, according to the federal charges.

If convicted on the civil rights charge, Porter faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He was arrested on the charge in Arizona and will have an appearance in federal court there, prosecutors said.

He appeared before a federal magistrate judge in Yuma, Ariz., on Friday afternoon, and a detention hearing was set for Monday.

The alleged crime occurred near 200 E. Wasatch Point Lane (13550 South), according to charges filed against Porter in state court last year, which were dismissed in favor of the federal prosecution.

The victim, identified in the state charges as Mike Waldvogel, heard Porter allegedly shout, “get out of here, n-----” at his son, who was riding his scooter in a common area.

When Waldvogel told Porter not to yell at his son, Porter reached over a railing and hit Waldvogel’s neck with a stun cane, charges state.

Waldvogel told police he was being shocked by the cane as he got it away from Porter.

A Draper police officer who observed a red mark on Waldvogel's neck reported that Porter came out of his home visibly upset, complaining that Waldvogel had stolen his cane, charges state.

Porter smelled of alcohol and refused to stay inside his residence while the officer spoke to witnesses, charges state.

After Porter tried to follow the first officer, a second officer grabbed Porters’ sleeve. Porter then spun around and “aggressively went face to face” with the second officer, who put Porter‘s arm behind his back, charges state.

Porter then struggled with both officers, knocking one officer’s body camera off. After he was handcuffed, Porter elbowed the first officer, continued to yell at both officers and threatened to defecate while on the back of the patrol car, “which he did,” charges state.

Porter was originally charged in 3rd District Court with a third-degree felony for aggravated assault and three misdemeanors for assault against a police officer, interference with an arresting officer and intoxication.

Waldvogel said Friday he has mostly kept to himself about the incident, only telling family members about what happened. He doesn’t want attention for it, he said.

“When it happened, it was like something out of a movie,” Waldvogel told The Tribune.

Despite his efforts to shelter his children from racism, the experience was “traumatizing” for his young son, and the family slept with an elliptical exercise machine propped in front of their door for the week following the assault, he said.

A couple of neighbors requested to change units in the weeks following the incident, he said. He’d never had any other issues like this with neighbors, Waldvogel said, and has since moved from the area with his children.

“I don‘t understand why people have issues with people who look differently,” he said. “We just keep to ourselves.”

He said he hasn’t really sought information on Porter’s case, and any updates he gets are from state or federal officials.