Skinned and bruised Police Chief Dennis Nordfelt gets a reminder occasionally of a cop's working hazards on the street.
Several years ago he broke up a fight that erupted in City Hall outside his office. Then his car was stolen and then recovered.He was in the thick of it again one afternoon last week when he heard Detective Kurt Imig call for a backup when he was outnumbered by three trespassers at Granger High School.
Nordfelt was near the school and rolled in to assist Imig as he "patted down" one of three trespassers at the school who had refused to identify themselves to an assistant principal or to Imig.
Imig was handcuffing a 23-year-old male when "the kid turned around and really laid a haymaker on him."
"Imig went down" and the chief turned his attention to the other two trespassers before starting out on foot after the man who hit Imig. "He ran out across the front lawn of Granger High School and across 3600 West where he almost got hit by a school bus," Nordfelt said.
The chief resumed his foot pursuit after another car had passed but slipped and fell on a gravel driveway and skinned his head, hands and knees. "It was not a serious injury, but it was really bleeding."
The assailant jumped in the back of a pickup truck to speed his getaway, but the driver figured something was wrong and pulled into a gas station and stopped. Imig and officer Coy Acocs caught up with the man, who was cornered by a police dog until officers could apprehend him.
"It could have been worse," Nordfelt said. "I could have caught him, but then what would I have done? He was a big kid," taller than both the chief or Imig, who are 6-foot-1 and 6-foot 2 respectively.
"Today I'm taking a little heat from the guys in the department, but that's the worst of it," Nordfelt said.
Two of the men were cited for trespassing and the third was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, fleeing and possessing a controlled substance.