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Utah school resource officer attacked by man with 2-by-2 board

RIVERTON — A school resource officer was recovering after being attacked by a man armed with a 2-by-2 piece of wood on Monday.

About 1:50 p.m., Kalen Cook, 21, was spotted climbing over the fence onto the property of South Hills Middle School, 13508 S. 4000 West, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray. No students were outside at the time, she said.

The resource officer approached Cook in the school parking lot and asked him to leave. He refused, according to an affidavit filed in 3rd District Court in support of his arrest. As the officer spoke to him, Cook allegedly grabbed "a large piece of wood" and started hitting the school resource officer in the face, the affidavit states.

Gray described the large piece of wood as a four-foot long, 2-by-2 board and said Cook attacked the officer without warning. A vice principal who saw what was happening used the officer's police radio to call for help, and a resource officer from another nearby school responded, she said.

The officer who responded from another school and Cook began to fight as Cook "tried to get into an occupied vehicle," police wrote in the affidavit. The officer was able to get Cook away from the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

During the struggle, Cook injured the other officer's hand, police said.

When police told Cook to remove his hands from his pockets, he refused, the affidavit states. Officers warned him they would shock him with a Taser if he didn't take his hands out of his pockets. At least three attempts to stun him were unsuccessful, police said.

The first officer was taken to a local hospital in serious condition after he was hit in the head several times with the board, Gray said. According to the affidavit, he sustained injuries to his head, face and body.

While searching Cook, police found a container with marijuana in it, a large plastic bag full of marijuana and an apple "with the middle cut out and full of marijuana," according to the affidavit.

Cook also had a knife but did not use it in the fight, Gray said. He was arrested for investigation of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, trespassing and possession of a controlled substance, according to Unified police.

Cook has no criminal history in Utah, according to court documents.