A neighborhood dispute turned into a full-blown SWAT team crisis in Utah when a man became enraged over a couple of kids and their noisy bike ride. After appearing to hit both of them in the head, their dad came out to see what was going on. To his horror, the man pulled a gun and opened fire — and it was all caught on camera.
Richard Lindem, a 61-year-old Utah man, got fed-up with two neighborhood kids who were riding their mini motorbikes in Millcreek. Lindem’s way of handling the annoyance, however, went too far, resulting in a standoff with a SWAT team. The angry man not only assaulted the two young brothers, ages 6 and 9, but he also opened fire on their father, leaving the dad dodging bullets and lucky to be alive.
The boys were riding their mini motorcycles around their Millcreek neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon while their father, 39-year-old Chris Ollerton, waxed his car nearby. Lindem, a neighbor who police say was “heavily intoxicated,” apparently didn’t like the noise the bikes were making, and he decided to approach the children as his temper flared.
As seen on video captured by a home surveillance camera, Lindem walked into the street and stopped the two boys, appearing to scold each one before hitting both of them in the head. After slapping the first boy’s helmet, according to Inside Edition, he then got in the other’s face to have a talk with him and seemed to slap his helmet too. Their father took notice and didn’t like what he was seeing.
The neighborhood confrontation only went from bad to worse when the children’s father tried to intervene on his sons’ behalf. “I saw this man pull back and punch my 6-year-old son,” Ollerton recalled, according to KSWO. “When I was heading towards him, I had full intentions of tackling the guy and smashing his head into the street.” However, that’s not at all how things were going to play out.
As Chris Ollerton approached, Richard Lindem pulled a gun and pointed it at the dad, who immediately told his sons to run. “He was just yelling at me, saying that we’re destroying the neighborhood by me letting my kids ride their motorcycles around. I was just yelling, ‘Dude, it’s not worth it. No one needs to die,'” Ollerton said. Apparently, Lindem felt differently as he opened fire, shooting at Ollerton not once but three times.
“We kind of were exchanging words for just a second, and that’s when I saw him kind of fumbling behind his back,” Ollerton recalled. “He drew his firearm and pointed it right at me,” he continued. “[My sons were] absolutely terrified,” Ollerton said. “I started to run backwards, but I’m trying to keep an eye on him at the same time that I’m running backwards to take cover. He fired two more shots,” Ollerton added. “Of the three [bullets], there was one that I literally felt zip past my head.”
Before police could arrive at the scene, Lindem barricaded himself inside his home, prompting officers to call in a SWAT team to extract him. Nerves were on edge as shots rang out from inside the home at one point. Five hours after the ordeal began, however, Richard Lindem was successfully arrested and taken into custody for investigation of aggravated assault, child abuse, reckless endangerment, and three counts of felony discharge of a firearm.
Thankfully, no members of the Ollerton family were injured in the incident. “I’m just happy my boys weren’t hurt, and I’m happy I’m still able to be here and be their dad,” Chris Ollerton said. As for his children’s “noisy” bikes, which threw Lindem into a rage, the dad says they aren’t any louder than a lawnmower. “I hope he woke up the next morning and was like, ‘Holy cow, I can’t believe what I did to those little boys,'” Ollerton said.
While many of us can appreciate the desire to have a quiet, peaceful neighborhood, Richard Lindem crossed the line. I think we can all agree that gunshots from the street ruin a community in ways “noisy” children never could. If the children were in the wrong for being on the street or were breaking a noise ordinance of some sort, Lindem should have called the authorities and let them handle it. There was no reason to take matters into his own hands in this fashion.
Simply put, there’s never a reason to draw a firearm during a verbal altercation, where you are in no apparent danger of harm. This man is just lucky that the dad wasn’t packing a gun of his own. No one would have faulted him for returning fire in self-defense — not even the law — and since he wasn’t “heavily intoxicated,” like Lindem, Ollerton would have been much more likely to hit his target. This is one drunk who should be counting his lucky stars that the only thing he got hit with is charges.