A Utah man has been arrested after he reportedly assaulted and choked his 18-year-old son, who said he was not planning to serve a Latter-day Saint mission.
The 49-year-old Ogden man was booked into the Weber County jail on Friday for investigation of aggravated assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child. As of Wednesday afternoon, he remained in custody in lieu of $3,900 bail.
According to a probable cause statement, the father told police he “attempted to remove his son from the home after his son stated he did not wish to go on his LDS Church mission.” The son told police that he and his father had been arguing, and when he told his father he did not plan to serve a volunteer mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the older man “grabbed him by the arm … and the two began to physically fight.”
The son said he was “knocked to the ground” and his father “began to strike [his] head into the wall repeatedly as well as squeeze the victim’s neck with both hands … choking” him while he “attempted to resist.”
According to the probable cause statement, the injuries on the son’s neck made it “apparent that the victim had been grabbed at the throat,” police wrote, and that the father had “impeded” the 18-year-old’s “breathing by applying force to the victim’s throat and neck during the use of unlawful force.”
The suspect’s wife told police she saw her husband holding the victim in a “bear hug” and intervened to stop the fight.
According to the officer, there were “multiple visible scratches to the right side of the victim’s neck as well as redness around the back of the neck”; the son was “visibly shaking” while being questioned; and he “was hesitant to provide details.”
Two minors, ages 15 and 17, were in the home and heard, but did not see, what happened.
According to police, the father said he had “attempted to remove” the victim from the house, and to do so he “grabbed” his son “wherever I could.” He also told police he’d done nothing wrong — that his son shoved him first, precipitating what he called a “tussle.” He claimed to have injuries and pointed to “a small scrape to his elbow,” police wrote.
Thousands of young Latter-day Saints (men can start at age 18 and women at 19) enter the volunteer missionary ranks every year, seeking converts and providing humanitarian service in countries across the globe.