Bodycam: Man aims toy gun at cars & police; officers praised for restraint

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Drivers in Cottonwood Heights called 9-1-1 after seeing a man pointing a gun at cars.

It happened on the night of October 23, 2023, near 6869 S 2300 E where the man, identified as Sven Oakeson, was pointing a toy gun at cars as they drove by.

According to court documents, Oakeson "pointed the gun at Officer Hughson," as he got out of his patrol car. Oakeson took the large toy gun and put it in his pants.

When the officer tried to ask Oakeson his name, he replied, "Satan." He would later give the officer his name but kept backing away.

When asked what he was doing, he told the officer, he was "practicing" and playing a "little bit of war." The officer asked to see the toy gun after Oakeson concealed it in his waistband area, to which Oakeson asked, "Want to show me yours?" The officer did not pull out a gun.

Another officer arrived on scene to assist, and Oakeson continued to back away. He eventually pulled the gun out of his waistband again and aimed it at both officers. The officers proceeded to take down Oakeson and cuffs were placed around his wrists and legs. The body camera from the officer was knocked off during the scuffle, but in the audio recording the officer's statement, "He just punched me" could be heard.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Oakeson punched an officer in the face and kicked another officer in the back.

He was arrested and booked on assault charges, possession of marijuana, interference with a peace officer and disorderly conduct.

On November 3, 2023, the City of Cottonwood Heights shared in a news release that "Mayor (Mike) Weichers praised the officers and stated that 'the ability of these officers to peacefully resolve this situation is heroic. We are grateful for the enhanced training our officers receive from police leadership, directed by Chief Robby Russo. We are grateful that this incident resulted in no injuries and encourage the media to report and honor those who put their lives on the line every day, to protect our communities.'"

“In this particular circumstance, a passerby observed the male pointing a gun at cars, called it in just like that, and that’s how the officers received the call and that’s what they responded to," said Sgt. Gary Young with the Cottonwood Heights Police Department. “The officers were able to use the appropriate amount of force to take the guy into custody, and officers are taught when using to use that minimal amount of force to overcome resisting force.”

Sgt. Young advised the public to always report unusual activity and said, "If people are going to have a toy gun, make sure the public doesn't see it; don't upset the public."

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