An onion farmer was reimbursed $1,410 for damage caused when a narcotics strike team trampled his field during a drug bust last fall.
During the incident, officers frisked the farmer at gunpoint, yelled a racial epithet at a suspect and later ate pizza at the suspect's home.The damages were paid Feb. 14 to farm owner Dan Layton by the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and Layton City.
The incident involved a strike force operation to arrest a drug suspect who was employed as a crew chief by Layton. The officers were assisted by Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force agents, the Layton SWAT team and other officers.
A Weber County official said quick action was justified because the suspect was considered dangerous. And while the Davis County attorney said Davis area officers committed no wrongdoing, he criticized the pizza feed and any use of racial slurs.
Dan Layton said the incident took place in September as he was supervising the harvest in his Clearfield onion field.
The Layton resident said he watched in surprise as a white van bumped across the field at about 40 mph, hitting a pile of sacked onions before stopping near him and his crew. Several long-haired men with guns jumped out, he said, and without identifying themselves told everyone to hit the ground.
Layton said he shouted at the men twice, asking who they were, and got no response except an officer telling him to "shut up" as he pointed a gun at Layton.
The officers were joined by back-up forces and Gutierrez was taken into custody. Gutierrez is now awaiting trial in Weber County on three counts of distributing cocaine and two counts of receiving stolen property.
Layton said upon leaving, a Layton officer drove across unharvested onions, causing about $1,200 in damage.