Police & Fire

Snowboarder confronted by shotgun-wielding homeowner in Big Cottonwood Canyon

BRIGHTON, Utah — On Feb. 25, near Brighton Resort, a snowboarder was confronted by a homeowner armed with a shotgun. The snowboarder, Loren Richardson, who captured the incident on video, expressed disbelief over the confrontation. “We’re all out here having fun. I hope no one dies snowboarding by someone shooting them. It’s wild. I still can’t grasp that happened,” Richardson remarked to Fox13.

The incident occurred near a cabin rented by Richardson and friends, chosen for its ski-in, ski-out feature. While filming on his phone, Richardson was accosted by a homeowner accusing him of trespassing. The homeowner’s threat, “Do it again and there will be holes in you,” was met with Richardson’s apologies as he retreated.

Brighton Mayor Dan Knopp revealed the complexities of property access in the area, indicating that some properties are landlocked, necessitating crossing through private lands to exit. The mayor condemned the aggressive behavior, stating to Fox13, “But what’s not acceptable is standing there with a gun and menacing people.”

The incident has sparked a broader discussion about the challenges of balancing private property rights with the longstanding traditions of backcountry skiing and boarding.

Brighton Ski Resort, although not directly involved, expressed concern over the incident and emphasized its commitment to working with the community and law enforcement to ensure safety. An eyewitness shared on Reddit, “My friend and I were returning from the Brighton backcountry after a day of touring and were trying to traverse to the base of Great Western. We cut too low, but then saw the roads leading out of the woods to the Big Cottonwood Road, my buddy went down this a——‘s road . . . I was one cabin down from the road and heard yelling, at one point I heard a ‘WHERE DID YOU GO?!’ at which point I booked it to the main road.”

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