Standoff with Mt. Pleasant man involves 13 officers, ends in attempted murder charges

Detective Devon Krebs from Ephraim Police Deparment and Spring City Police Chief Kyle Adams posted up behind storage containers on Summer Grass Road while trying to apprehend Kevin Otteson. (ROBERT STEVENS / MESSENGER PHOTO)

MT. PLEASANT—A Mt. Pleasant man is being held without bail on numerous charges, including attempted aggravated murder, following a standoff in mid-June that ultimately involved 13 officers.

At one point, officers tracked down Kevin Otteson, 59, on Summer Grass Road, a dirt road that branches off S.R. 116, the road running between Mt. Pleasant and Moroni.

As they were negotiating with him and trying to convince him to surrender, he drove toward a group of officers at speeds of at least 70 miles per hour before running over spikes and coming to a stop a foot away from a patrol car.

The case started on June 12 when a woman in Mt. Pleasant reported Otteson was stalking and harrasing her in violation of a court order, according to a probable cause (PC) statement from Mt. Pleasant Police Sgt. Nathan Taylor.

When Taylor received another report the next day, he connected with Officer Ben Swapp, who made plans to arrest Otteson as soon as officers had the text messages and call logs from the woman’s phone in their possession.
After attempts to find and contact Otteson, Swapp reached him by phone. Otteson told the officer that he was heading toward Las Vegas, but would return to Mt. Pleasant. Later in the evening, Otteson resumed calling and texting the woman.

In the PC statement, Taylor said Swapp had listened to Otteson make statements to the woman such as, “I am going out, but I will take a couple cops with me,’ and, “The boys are going to kill you and your family.” Otteson went on to make threats against the woman’s life and his own.

Eventually, Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Jim Wilberg found Otteson on Summer Grass Road, located in the unincorporated county between Moroni and Mt. Pleasant. Wilberg said that in a phone conversation, Otteson threatened to kill himself and said he had explosives in his car to blow up Mt. Pleasant, according to the PC statement.

Officers from multiple departments, including the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office, and the Fairview, Mt. Pleasant, Moroni and Ephraim police departments, posted up on different parts of the road. According to the PC statement, Otteson was driving erratically around the police barricades.
Hours of negotiation followed. During negotiations, the officers heard explosions. It turned out Otteson was throwing fireworks out of his car window, the PC statement said.

Eventually he sped toward some of them at 70 mph before running over spike strips and coming to an abrupt stop a foot away from a patrol car, the statement said.

Otteson then fled in the car, crashing through fence lines on his way. To avoid becoming entangled in a use-of-force situation, the officers made a group decision not to pursue him right away.

Using a drone, police traced Otteson attempting to drive up a hillside. They eventually found his car, abandoned, crashed into a ravine.
Taylor apprehended Otteson at a family member’s home the following morning.

At the time of the incident, Otteson had two pending stalking charges from a couple of months earlier, according to Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels.
Otteson’s attempted aggravated murder charge, a first-degree felony, is accompanied by a third-degree felony for failing to stop at police command. He also faces numerous misdemeanor charges for threatening violence, property damage and intoxication, among others.

Daniels said he expected the case to be resolved through a plea deal. “I imagine we’ll tender an offer of sorts,” he said. And if no agreement is reached, he said, “We’ll trek toward trial.”