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News Blog

SLCPD Investigating Brawl Involving a Corrections Officer

by Eric S. Peterson
Posted // 2011-11-02 -

A Salt Lake City police officer responding to a fight outside a downtown bar was surprised when one of the individuals involved, Jason Nicholes, identified himself as a captain with the Utah Department of Corrections. Perhaps even more surprising was that Nicholes allegedly had told witnesses to leave the scene and even attempted to start a fight with the police officer.

An incident report released today provides some insight into a fight that occurred outside the Hotel Bar and Nightclub, 155 W. 200 South, on Sept. 17. City Weekly recently obtained portions of a police report about the incident because it’s still part of an ongoing investigation. According to the report, K-9 Officer Cale Lennberg responded to a chaotic scene on the street outside the bar and spotted Nicholes wrestling with an unidentified individual, holding the man in a chokehold from behind. “Four to five other males, some covered with blood,” were also involved in the fight, according to the report. Two witnesses reported seeing one individual get “knocked to the ground” by Nicholes, though the specifics of how the fight started aren’t apparent from the report.

It wasn’t until after Lennberg told the men to stop that he noticed a badge hanging around Nicholes’ neck. Nicholes worked as security for the bar but, according to the officer’s report, was not identified clearly as either bar security or law enforcement. According to the report, two witnesses at the scene “both explained that they had no idea that Nicholes was a peace officer” because he was wearing a T-shirt, jeans and his badge was hung from a “chain inside his jacket.”

The incident became more chaotic, according to the report, as the SLCPD officer attempted to keep witnesses at the scene while “Nicholes was yelling for everyone to ‘Go home’ and to ‘Get out of here.’” Lennberg reported that several witnesses left the scene as a result of Nicholes’ shouting. The officer wrote that Nicholes later denied telling witnesses to leave and thereby obstructing the investigation, and that Nicholes also said that his work arrangement with the Hotel required him to dress down so as not to “discourage” people from coming to the bar.

After the scene had been secured and more police officers arrived, Officer Lennberg was asked by other officers what had happened to the witnesses who had left. Lennberg told the responding officers, “‘That Jackwagon sent everyone away,’ referring to Nicholes. This apparently angered Nicholes,” the officer wrote, adding that Nicholes threatened the officer and even “pulled off his jacket and said something to the effect of ‘let’s do this.’”

Despite the threat, the report makes no indication that Nicholes instigated a physical altercation with Lenberg.

Sgt. Shawn Josephson says that the SLCPD is still investigating the incident to see if the department will file charges against Nicholes for obstructing a police investigation. As of the time of this post, a comment had not been returned from Nicholes or the Utah Department of Corrections about the incident. This post will be updated if comment is returned from Corrections or Nicholes.

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Posted // March 31,2012 at 10:34

Incident control is simple.

Isolate and Contain are the keys to de-escalation.

Isolate the problem from getting bigger, infecting other areas or involving other people.

Contain the problem to as small of an area as possible.

Now let say, you by yourself, had to break up a brawl involving more than 5 people who were either extremely excited or extremely unhappy.  Wouldn't you CONTAIN the most aggressive and send away relatively un-involved people so that you can ISOLATE the immediately involved people from any contact with the bystanders?  Wouldn't that make sense rather than letting the aggressor continue to beat the sh*t out of someone and letting the other unhappy individuals illicite an emotional response which may likely lead to additional physical involvement from what were previously bystanders?  Can anyone say RIOT?  The whole point is to difuse a situation with ONLY the level of force necessary to get the behaviour to stop. 

Lennberg is the proverbial wolf in sheeps clothing.  He is pretending to belong, but in his head he is the ultimate power and how dare anybody even consider solving a problem first or better than he would have.  Jackwagon.  He's just mad his dog didn't get to bite anybody.


Posted // March 31,2012 at 10:21

Jason would never do this, exactly as written.  There is so much missing information it is sickening.  This is pure undefiled defamation.  Although it would be out of character for Jason, I wish he would file charges against this paper for defamation of character through biased, misrepresentation of facts from this so called 'news' agency.

Truth is, Jason is a professional.  In every way, shape and form.  He would never take the cheap shot no matter how much the other person (or news agency) deserves it.


Posted // November 7,2011 at 13:08 I'm sad to see this great yet little man be taken down by a news organization. Nichols is half chinese and half Spartan he was forged in a pot of iron and rice which resulted in his mini bad assness. His side hook,vietnamese triple arm bar is one of the best in affliction. Long live the Spartan Willow!


Posted // November 6,2011 at 11:21 I just wanted to say that I know Nichols,we trained tapout and affliction for seven years together in Master Nate's Dojo and he is one hell of a guy. Let's wait until the entire story comes out to pass judgement. Until then we'll be practicing our Mongolian crab lock and Croatian spider foot snaps,just staying tough,just living the dream of being true american/asain tough guys. Keep your head up buddy :) xoxo


Posted // November 5,2011 at 14:58 Nicholes is SWAT team that means he's hardcore brother! "You lookin at me bub" here's a rear naked choke on yo ass! "Are you taller than 5'6" here's a hungarian arm twist sucka.


Posted // November 5,2011 at 14:59 - COME AT ME BRO!!!!!!!!!