Former Moab police officer faces charges in separate court cases
by Molly Marcello
The Times-Independent
Apr 13, 2017 | 2433 views | 0 0 comments | 112 112 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Former Moab City Police Officer Joshua Althoff was in 7th District Court April 11 for a preliminary hearing on charges related to domestic violence and using a dangerous weapon in a fight. Seventh District Judge Lyle Anderson set a July 7 date for the case to go to a jury trial. Althoff also faces new charges in both Grand County Justice Court and 7th District Court related to a State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) inquiry into the Moab City Police Department in 2016.

Althoff resigned from the police force on Aug. 19. At the time, he told The Times-Independent that he felt both “scapegoated” and “forced” to resign as a patrol officer.

In April 2016, both Althoff and former officer Justin Olsen were the subjects of an internal affairs (IA) investigation into allegations that the officers provided alcohol to minors while off-duty in July 2015.

Although the investigation conducted by the Utah County Sheriff’s Department found “no substantial” evidence to support the allegations, both officers resigned in August.

On Aug. 25, Grand County Attorney Andrew Fitzgerald dismissed court cases in which Althoff and Olsen were involved as police officers, telling city officials that the “veracity of their testimony could not be relied upon under oath.”

Fitzgerald told The Times-Independent that the IA investigation conducted by the Utah County Sheriff’s Department did not address “larger issues” regarding the officers.

Now, after a State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) inquiry into the Moab City Police Department, Althoff faces charges including obstruction of justice.

He is charged in Grand County Justice Court with one count involving the “restrictions on access, use, and contents of division records,” a class B misdemeanor. In 7th District Court, he is charged with “obstruction of justice,” a class A misdemeanor, and one charge of “providing false or misleading information,” a class B misdemeanor.

Althoff’s attorney, Stephen Stocks, declined to comment on any charges filed against his client.

Althoff also faces other charges related to separate incidents that occurred in 2016.

In Justice Court, a bench trial is set for June 14 regarding an Aug. 5 incident that resulted in Althoff being charged with one count of “threat of violence,” a class B misdemeanor, one count of “attempted criminal mischief,” a class C misdemeanor, and one count of “disorderly conduct,” a class C misdemeanor.

In 7th District Court, the July 7 jury trial involves an incident that occurred on or about Sept. 27. Althoff is charged with “threatening with or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel,” a class A misdemeanor, one count of “assault and domestic violence,” a class B misdemeanor, as well as three counts of “domestic violence in the presence of a child,” a class B misdemeanor.

Those charges relate to an argument that allegedly occurred between Althoff and his wife, Mindy Althoff, at their home on or about Sept. 27, according to court documents.

Grand County Sheriff’s Lt. Veronica Bullock, Lt. Kim Neal, and Mindy Althoff testified during the April 11 preliminary hearing on those charges.

Bullock and Neal served as the lead investigators on the incident, which was referred to their department Sept. 28, according to Bullock, after a counselor at Helen Knight Elementary School alerted authorities.

During the preliminary hearing, Mindy Althoff told the court that a verbal argument occurred after she saw a text message on her husband’s phone reading “night darling.” During the course of the argument, she reached for the phone and Althoff moved his hand and phone behind his back, she said, moving his other hand toward her face.

“His hand got my face,” she said, adding that she did not feel injured.

She said that near the end of the argument Joshua Althoff prepared to take a walk.

He generally takes a gun with him on these walks, she said, “because he fears with being a police officer nowadays, even when they’re not working somebody could attack them.”

Before the walk, Mindy told the court that Joshua Althoff stated, “With all this stress, I could kill myself.”

“I told him to calm down and not to say stupid things like that because it’s stupid to say,” she added. “And so I was telling him not to say that, and that’s when he pulled the gun out.”

According to her testimony April 11, Althoff brought the gun up between his hip and armpit. A recorded statement she made to the Sheriff’s Department also states that Althoff held the gun “up.”

However, Lt. Neal said he recalled a different scenario during the course of an unrecorded interview between himself, Bullock, a representative from DCFS, and Mindy Althoff.

“My recollection in the course of that interview ... [is] she said he held it to his head,” Neal said.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.