Utah prosecutors file felony charges in viral campground confrontation
(KUTV) – Prosecutors filed charges against several people involved in a confrontation at a Utah campsite that went viral in a video posted online in May.
Wyatt Pack, 20, will now have to answer in a criminal court for charges of felony riot, as well as misdemeanor charges of threats, assault and theft by extortion, according to newly filed charges from the Cache County Attorney’s Office.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors said there is evidence that the victims were "terrorized" over the course of several hours on May 25 at a campsite in Blacksmith Fork Canyon.
"This doesn't represent who we are in Cache County," Cache County Attorney James Swink said. "While the defendants were visitors in our community, we expect citizens will step up and help other people who are in vulnerable or difficult situations, not terrorize them."
Other members of Pack's group were also charged for their roles in the altercation.
Courtney Durney was charged with felony riot and felony aggravated assault, as well as a misdemeanor attempted criminal mischief charge.
Rikki Durney was charged with felony riot.
Samara Nielsen was charged with threatening to use a dangerous weapon in a fight and felony riot.
Braxton Haderlie was charged with threatening to use a dangerous weapon in a fight and felony riot.
Cache County Sheriff's detectives reviewed the viral video and interviewed Pack, Nielsen, Haderlie, the Durneys and other witnesses, according to charging documents.
The Caballero family's truck broke down on May 25 in a camping area in the canyon. The family called a friend to come help them, but that help wasn't going to arrive for several hours.
The truck happened to break down in an area where Pack's family had previously parked a camper with the intent of spending the weekend.
When Pack's family arrived at the site, a heated exchange ensued where Pack demanded the family move their truck immediately.
"Wyatt immediately walked over to [Caballero] 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," charging documents state.
A member of the Caballero family began recording as Pack continued to swear at them. Police say the victims feared for their lives because Pack and the other people in his party had guns on their hips in plain view.
"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. During this part of the confrontation, Wyatt told Jose he was going to move his truck and trailer but that Jose was going to pay him, and then Wyatt demanded whatever money Jose had," according to a probable cause statement.
The Caballero family gave Pack $45 to tow the truck to a ranger station.
Charging documents reveal that witnesses to the incident spoke with detectives and said they saw Pack berating the Caballero family.
Weber County fired Pack from his job as a mechanic after the video went viral.
All of the defendants were issued summons to appear in court.
"This family was vulnerable, they were several miles up Left Hand Fork in a mountainous area, they did not have transportation, and when they tried to walk out to get help, it is alleged they were detained," Swink said.