SALT LAKE CITY — A former Weber County employee whose angry rant at a Hispanic family was caught on video has been charged with several crimes, including inciting a riot.
Wyatt Dee Pack, 20, of Tremonton, was charged Wednesday in 1st District Court with inciting a riot, a third-degree felony; threatening to use a weapon during a fight, a class A misdemeanor; and four other misdemeanor crimes including assault and theft by extortion.
In addition, others in the group with him that day — Rikki Hane Durney, 39, of Tremonton; Samara Lee Nielsen, 20, of Harrisville; Braxton Jade Haderlie, 22, of North Ogden; and Cory Brian Durney, 41, of Tremonton — were also charged with riot or threatening to use a weapon in a fight. Durney also received a charge of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony.
The incident on May 25 in Blacksmith Fork Canyon was recorded by the wife of Jose Caballero and quickly caused a public uproar once it was posted to social media.
Caballero and his family, including his wife and their two children, ages 8 and 15, became stranded because the power steering went out in Caballero's truck, according to charging documents, and blocked an area typically used to get to and from a camping area. Caballero attempted for most of the day to get help and fix the problem, according to court documents.
About 5 p.m. "a large white truck pulling a flatbed entered the pullout and accelerated towards him,” the charges state. The truck, driven by Cory Durney, hit Caballero's vehicle. The Durneys along, with a 17-year-old girl with them, "started yelling at (Caballero) and using profanity, telling him to get his trailer and truck out of the camp area," the charges state.
"Jose indicated that he tried to explain that his truck was broken, but they would not listen and continued to swear at him and threaten him, saying that the people coming next were worse than they were."
About 15 minutes later, a second truck pulling a large fifth-wheel camp trailer driven by Pack pulled up.
"Wyatt immediately walked over to Jose and was yelling and swearing at him to move his truck and trailer, and told him that if he did not then he would burn them both to the ground. Jose described seeing a handgun on Wyatt's hip while he was yelling at him, and that Wyatt's hand was resting on the gun. He also described that one of the women with Cory Durney lifted her shirt and showed him that she also had a handgun," according to charging documents.
Caballero said he was "very scared for his family," the charges state. As the argument continued, Wyatt offered to move the Caballero's truck, but only for $200, court documents state.
"Eventually, Jose felt so threatened by Wyatt and his group that he told his wife in Spanish to gather backpacks, jackets and some food and they were going to leave the camp area and walk down the road towards Blacksmith Fork Canyon," the charges state. "As they left the camp, Wyatt came at them screaming and asking if Jose was deaf. He then walked up to Jose and grabbed him by his left ear and tried to hit him, but Jose ducked down."
Pack then said he was going to move Caballero's truck and demanded he give him all of his money, which was $45, the charges state.
The confrontation lasted several hours.
"(Caballero's wife) was convinced that Wyatt's group was going to shoot and kill her husband and oldest son, and she talked about not feeling free to leave because Wyatt's group had blocked them in," according to court documents.
After a recording of the confrontation was posted on YouTube, Pack was fired from his job with Weber County.6 comments on this story
"We are sickened and outraged watching this video. This type of behavior is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the helpful, kind, customer service attitude we expect of Weber County employees," according to a statement released by Weber County. "While the incident occurred in Cache County, we hold the combined belief that our parks are created with the intention of facilitating wholesome family-friendly recreation."
The video was also reviewed by the Cache County Attorney's Office.
"I reviewed a video of the dispute that was posted to YouTube, and observed a group of six people who appeared to be having a verbal and physical dispute with a Hispanic family about a camping area," the lead prosecutor wrote in charging documents.
Those charged in the incident have been summoned to appear in court at a later date.