Little League Parent Arrested For Aggravated Assault in Utah

A parent of a little league player was arrested in Utah for aggravated assault toward their child’s coach.

Out of control parents

Photo by: Jim Larrison

Last week the rest of the nation watched in disbelief as a video made the rounds on social media showing a group of parents yelling and throwing punches at a kid’s baseball game in Colorado. This week a similar incident took place in Utah as a single parent lost their cool at a game and went after the coach with a baseball bat.

No parent of the year award

37 year old Andrew Bunot was arrested at his children’s game in Roy, Utah after Bunot was displeased with the lack of time his kids got to spend actually playing the game and decided to have words with the coach. Instead of just talking to the coach however, Bunot grabbed a baseball bat and threatened the coach with it. Other parents stopped Bunot as he made threatening advances toward the coach with the bat. Bunot was arrested for aggravated assault while his children watched.

Aggravated assault

Utah Code 76-5-103 states “Aggravated assault is an actor’s conduct . . . that is:

  1. an attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another;
  2. a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or
  3. an act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another; and

that includes the use of:

  1. a dangerous weapon . . . ;
  2. any act that impedes the breathing or the circulation of blood of another person by the actor’s use of unlawful force or violence that is likely to produce a loss of consciousness . . .
  3. other means or force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.”

Since Bunot threatened the coach with a bat which is capable of causing serious bodily injury, he is not facing a third degree felony. Third degree felony aggravated assault is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and as much as five years in prison.

Poor examples of sportsmanship

Parent outburst during youth athletics is a growing problem, with many parents being verbally abusive to referees, coaches, and even the kids. As the problem with parents at games escalates to cases of physical and aggravated assault, it’s time for parents to start being better examples of sportsmanship to their children so they don’t miss games while sitting behind bars.

Child Endangerment Charges For Utah Mom Who Threw Underage Drinking Party

A Utah mom who threw an underage drinking party for her son and his friends is being charged with child endangerment after one of the party goers died.

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor

Photo by: Rawpixel LTD

40 year old Kristina Teresa Valdez was throwing a birthday party for her teenage son at their Kearns, Utah home when she told one of her son’s friends to leave. The teens were enjoying alcohol and drugs while under the care of Valdez when the friend started acting belligerent. After being kicked out into the cold with only light clothing on, the 17 year old boy passed out in a nearby field and died, possibly from exposure. The teen’s parents assumed he had run way and searched for him for over two weeks before his body was discovered. An autopsy revealed the teen had been intoxicated and under the influence of marijuana. Valdez was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child endangerment.

Child endangerment

Not only was Valdez charged with letting the teenagers have alcohol, she is also facing charges for allegedly letting them use marijuana while in her home. This is considered child endangerment which is punishable as a first, second, or third degree felony. Utah code 76-5-112.5 states regarding child endangerment:

  • “. . . a person is guilty of a felony of the third degree if the person knowingly or intentionally causes or permits a child or a vulnerable adult to be exposed to, inhale, ingest, or have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia;
  • . . . a person is guilty of a felony of the second degree, if: the person engages in the conduct described [above]; and as a result of the conduct . . . a child or a vulnerable adult suffers bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or serious bodily injury; or
  • a person is guilty of a felony of the first degree, if: the person engages in the conduct described [above]; and as a result of the conduct . . . a child or a vulnerable adult dies.”

Photo by: Tony Webster

Although the teen died after Valdez kicked him out of the party drunk and high, she is only facing a third degree felony instead of a first degree felony. Parents are encouraged to not use illegal activity as a way to be the “cool parent”.Those parents who are facing charges for allowing children to break the law in their home should consult with a criminal defense attorney.

Southern Utah Man Arrested for Deer Poaching in Utah

A southern Utah man was arrested for an almost three year old deer poaching case out of Nevada.

Poaching of a Mule Buck

USFWS Mountain-Prairie

In November of 2019 a nice sized mule deer buck was taken out illegally near the Utah Nevada border and for a couple years the killing went unnoticed. When Nevada game wardens realized a case of poaching had occurred in their state, they worked diligently with Utah law enforcement to track down the one responsible. Two and a half years and a lot of tax dollars later, they found the person responsible.

Barely an adult

21 year old Brayden Ray Norton of Washington, Utah was arrested for deer poaching, a category E felony in Nevada. At the time of the crime, Norton was a fresh 18 year old that likely had goals in his adult like that didn’t include going to a Nevada jail for a prized deer he tagged. According to Nevada Fish and Game, Norton has never acquired a hunting license in Nevada and therefore would not have been approved for one of their hard to acquire large game tags.

Deer poaching

In Nevada, deer poaching is punishable as a category E felony, punishable by one to four years in prison with a fine as much as $5,000. In Utah, deer poaching is known as illegal taking, possession or wanton destruction of protected wildlife. Section 23-20 4.7 adds that “A person is guilty of habitual wanton destruction of protected wildlife if the person . . . takes a big game animal”. Utah Code 23-20-4.5 notes that punishment for poaching a deer is a restitution amount of $400 to as much as $8,000 for a trophy animal. A person found guilty of deer poaching can also face a third degree felony, punishable but one to five years in prison and an additional fine of up to $5,000.

State borders

Photo by: Ken Lund

Nevada Fish and Game stated that the poaching incident occurred in Lincoln County, Nevada that happens to be the third largest county in Nevada, seventh largest in the nation. The east side of Lincoln county stretches the length of four Utah counties: Millard, Beaver, Iron, and Washington as well as the northwest tip of Arizona, that includes the well-known Virgin River Gorge. Most of this area between Lincoln County and its bordering counties is sparsely populated wilderness, with only a few major highways linking it to Utah. The remaining pathways between the two states on Utah’s southwestern borders are dirt roads, unpaved and possible unmarked. Nevada officials did not elaborate on how close to the Utah border the poaching incident had occurred or whether or not Norton was aware he had crossed into a neighboring state.

Intentional or accidental

Although he was not a licensed hunter in Nevada, Norton has obviously had experience hunting as he was able to bring down that large buck. It is possible Norton had been a licensed Utah hunter, a favorite pastime for many Utah parents and their children.At 18 years old, Norton had probably spent most of his hunting life under the watchful eye of his parents. Game wardens in Nevada claimed that Norton tried to get away with poaching yet, could he have been licensed in Utah and mistakenly crossed into Nevada while navigating back roads? While there are some laws that punish a person for accidentally committing a crime, most punish a person who has knowledge and intent – two things that Norton may not have had in this case. Anyone facing criminal charges in Utah or neighboring states is encouraged to seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney who can help a defendant show defend their mistakes and reveal their true intentions.