BYU COUGARS

Utah County Attorney: ‘No Evidence’ To Support Crimes Against BYU’s Chaz Ah You

Mar 11, 2020, 2:16 PM | Updated: 6:14 pm
Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey...
Photo Courtesy of BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey

PROVO, Utah – The Utah County Attorney office declined to prosecute the suspicion of DUI case against BYU football player Chaz Ah You. On Wednesday, Utah County Attorney David Leavitt spoke with members of the media including KSL Sports explaining that decision.

Attorney Leavitt opened up what he called a “press conversation” in his office with this statement, “Given the nature of the case and the public’s interest in the case and the fact that people are forming all sorts of conclusions and opinions. I thought it would probably be in everyone’s interest to assemble anyone that wanted to come in and answer questions.”

One of the questions was why did the county attorney decline to prosecute the case against Ah You?

Simple answer, there wasn’t any evidence of a crime dating back to the February 9th arrest in Eagle Mountain.

No evidence of the charges against Chaz Ah You

“Chaz Ah You was stopped and arrested for various crimes. There is no evidence to support those crimes and because of that, my office declined to prosecute the case,” said Leavitt.

“This happens more than 5,000 times a year in my office. It happens to people who are arrested and charged, most of them are charged in my office, but every case gets a solid review in my office. I’ve assembled a team of seven or eight experienced prosecutors who screen these cases, who go through the evidence to make sure that who we prosecute and what we prosecute is appropriate to maintain the public safety. And more importantly the public trust.

“Whether you’re a bricklayer from Salem, Utah or a football player at BYU, you get the same treatment … there simply wasn’t a case to prosecute here. The public should not be outraged because we’re letting someone off who broke the law. There simply was no evidence that would suggest what he was charged with could be proven in the court. That’s about the sum of it.”

A member of the media then said, “I don’t quite understand how the pieces are fitting in this one.”

Leavitt replied, “We make assumptions that when the police do something that what they say occurred, occurred. I typically assume that. I trust our law enforcement officials. To say that we’re right on every occasion, to say that we’re always accurate and that anyone is always accurate would be foolish. In this case, it just simply didn’t occur.”

Ah You was stopped for reckless driving. Police officers followed Ah You for seven miles according to Leavitt. Reckless driving is not an arrest-able offense in the state of Utah. So the inventory search of the vehicle that alleged to have contained a THC vape pen was dismissed.

Statement from Utah County Sheriff’s office

On February 9, 2020, at about 4:45 PM, a Deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office stopped a car he saw driving above the speed limit on Pioneer Crossing in Lehi and Saratoga Springs. The Deputy also saw the driver commit multiple moving violations including following too closely behind other cars and changing lanes abruptly without signaling. The Deputy arrested the driver, Chaz Ah You, age 21, from Eagle Mountain, for reckless driving. While inventorying Ah You’s car, Deputies found liquid THC (Marijuana) and open containers of alcohol. Ah You’s car was impounded and he was taken to the Utah County Jail where the Deputy conducted a DUI investigation. He was booked into jail on charges including open container, DUI, improper lane change, reckless driving, and speeding.

Following the initial arrest Sheriff’s Office Officials were made aware that there may have been procedural errors during Ah You’s arrest. The Deputy, who was in training,physically arrested Ah You for reckless driving. The Deputy and his training Deputy who made the arrest searched Ah You’s car because they intended to impound the car following the arrest. The evidence found during the inventory search would not have been found but for the physical arrest of the driver and the inventory of his car.

In addition to these concerns, there are procedural concerns about how Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) were administered. The Deputy’s inability to articulate the facts of the traffic stop lead to the dismissal of the case by the Utah County Attorney’s Office. The actions of the Deputies involved in this arrest have been evaluated and appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that a situation like this will not happen in the future.

Going forward for Ah You

Chaz Ah You has been enrolled at BYU throughout this legal process but is currently out of spring practice according to head coach Kalani Sitake earlier this month. Ah You is also recovering from off-season shoulder surgery he had at the beginning of this year.

According to Leavitt, the Utah County Office informed Ah You on Tuesday that they would be declining to prosecute the case.

Ah You is headed towards his junior season with the Cougar football program and is a talented player who could end up at linebacker or safety this fall for the Cougar defense.

*****

Full audio from Wednesday’s press conversation with Leavitt is embedded below.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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