Cops recognize couple for help in standoff
September 11, 2009
Shelly Williams said she didn’t hesitate to allow deputies inside her cabin Aug. 31 when officers needed to negotiate on the telephone with her neighbor who was threatening to take his own life with a firearm east of Oakley.
"I was frightened when I realized that somebody was seriously thinking of causing harm to the people around them, which included us, and committing suicide," Williams said.
For cooperating with deputies, Williams and her husband Rick were presented the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Civilian Service Commendation on Thursday
"Mr. and Mrs. Williams gave up their house, invited us in, provided refreshments and allowed us to use their landline phone," said Ron Bridge, a Summit County Sheriff’s Office detective. "It was truly a selfless act."
Officers who arrived at the Pine Mountain home at about noon quickly realized the cabin would be an effective place from which to negotiate with the deranged man, Bridge said.
"It was in close proximity to the target location where the suspect was held up with firearms and making threats to take his own life and take the lives of others," Bridge explained.
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The suspect in the case, Salt Lake County resident Christopher Cheney, is charged with a third-degree felony because separate criminal charges he is facing in the Salt Lake Valley ban him from possessing a firearm. The 30-year-old is also charged with two misdemeanors for possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault and making a threat against life or property.
Before Cheney was arrested officers negotiated with him from the Williams home for nearly five hours.
"The sheriff’s department is very professional and it’s obvious that the sheriff takes his responsibilities very seriously," Rick Williams said. "It was obvious that he was going to protect us and he put his men in harm’s way, not us."
Shelly said she heard an officer speaking on the phone to Cheney.
"I was amazed at how smooth it went and it ended very successfully," she said. "They were doing their job and trying to save the life of a young man and other people."
Nobody was injured in the armed standoff.