Man accused of domestic violence is not on rotation at Mount Hope Police Department

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Jun. 16—A police officer who is certified in West Virginia is no longer approved to work on an auxiliary basis at Mount Hope Police Department, following an arrest in South Carolina for a felony charge of domestic violence, Mount Hope Mayor Mike Kessinger said Monday.

Roger David Utt, 35, was arrested June 1 in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a charge of first-degree domestic violence, a felony, and third degree assault and battery.

Utt is vice-president of Cramer Security and Investigations. Prior to the arrest, he was approved to work on a part-time basis for Mount Hope Police Department, Kessinger reported.

According to a criminal complaint, Myrtle Beach officers responded at 7:09 a.m. to 313 6th Avenue in Myrtle Beach on June 1 to a domestic violence call that had been reported at 12:29 a.m.. At least four people were inside of the house, based on the criminal complaint.

At least 11 additional officers assisted, according to the complaint, along with officer M.S. Paitsel, who investigates cases of domestic violence for MBPD.

Lafontaine said they discovered Utt's 33-year-old wife, identified as the first victim, in a bathroom shower. He said the wife was "covered in blood due to several lacerations and abrasions on her face and neck." Police took photos, according to the report.

"I also observed bruising and swelling on victim's forehead," Lafontaine reported, adding that she also "had a swollen lower lip." According to the officer, emergency medical workers treated the victim and cleaned her wounds, but she refused to be transported to a hospital for further treatment.

"(The victim) was very uncooperative and stated that she did not know how she obtained her injuries and that her husband (the offender) is 'a good man,'" Lafontaine wrote. "The victim stated that they have been married for one year and have been in a relationship for three years.

"The victim added that they currently reside together in West Virginia and that they have five children," he added.

Lafontaine said that Utt told police that "the altercation stemmed from him being jealous."

"The offender reported that they have been drinking heavily at bars in the area and at the residence," the complaint states. "The offender admitted that he threw a bracelet at (the victim), but he does not know how (the victim) obtained her injuries."

According to the police complaint, police were called to the residence after a man at the house, Charles Tanner, 23, allegedly heard the Utts arguing in one of the bedrooms. When Tanner peeked into the room, he allegedly saw the victim with a "busted lip" and "the offender towering over her with a knife." The man said he saw Utt allegedly strike the victim twice in the mouth with his closed fist. Tanner told a woman in the house, Rebeka Gentry, 25, to call police.

Gentry woke up her boyfriend, Matthew Ubl, 22, and asked him to stop the alleged altercation between the Utts, according to the complaint.

Ubl allegedly told the officer that Utt had a knife "and he was attacking" the victim. According to the complaint, Ubl, while in possession of a gun, ordered Utt to leave the house. Ubl allegedly told police he did not have the gun removed from his holster or pointed at Utt.

The complaint states that Utt allegedly shoved Ubl into the wall and kicked Ubl in his left eye when he tried to intervene.

Gentry and Tanner reported to police that Utt threatened to "kill everyone in the house" and stated he has 'killed children, families and that he will kill everyone here, also."

Others in the house — including Jack Sigvertsen, 21, Jorge Alvarenga, 21 and Araceli Cooper, 19 — reportedly slept through the incident and could not provide additional information to police.

Myrtle Beach officers recovered items that identified Utt as working for Mount Hope Police Department, Mayor Kessinger verified.

Kessinger said Utt had never worked a shift at MHPD and that he was not employed as a department officer.

Kessinger reported that Utt was on a list of "auxiliary" officers who could be called on to serve in cases that MHPD was overwhelmed by providing officers to The Summit Bechtel Reserve during Jamboree or other large events.

He said Utt is not currently on the rotation schedule, pending the outcome of the charge in Myrtle Beach.

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