Littering incident in Provo ends in assault on police officers

What started as a simple littering case in Provo ended with officers using a taser on a man allegedly throwing rocks at them, according to police. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PROVO — A simple littering incident ended with a man allegedly throwing softball-sized rocks at police and being tazed by officers.

Francisco Antonio-Mishenko, 42, of Mesa, Arizona, was charged Friday in 4th District Court with two counts of assault on a police officer, a third-degree felony; failing to stop at the command of police, a class A misdemeanor; interfering with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor; and littering, an infraction.

On Saturday, Antonio-Mishenko was at a fast-food restaurant parking lot on University Avenue when he allegedly wiped his face with a napkin and threw it on the ground, according to charging documents.

A Provo police officer who was in a nearby patrol car got out and confronted Antonio-Mishenko.

“He was immediately angry and asked if I wanted him to pick it up and I told him ‘yes’ but asked for his ID first,” the arresting officer stated in a police booking affidavit.

Instead, Antonio-Mishenko ignored the offer and kept walking.

“(The officer) told Mishenko to place his hands behind his back and as (he) grabbed Mishenko’s wrist, Mishenko turned and attempted to punch the officer in the head. Mishenko then began running and refused the officer’s commands to stop,” the charges state.

The officer unsuccessfully attempted to use his Taser, which prompted Antonio-Mishenko to turn around “in a fighting stance and (yell) ‘You stop!'” according to the charges.

The officer then “pepper sprayed Mishenko, which was also ineffective.”

Antonio-Mishenko continued to run, fleeing into traffic and causing cars in both directions to stop the charges state. He ran to another parking lot “and began grabbing baseball and softball-sized rocks and throwing them at the officer,” the charges state.

A bystander was hit in the leg by one of the rocks. A second officer arrived on scene and chased after Antonio-Mishenko for another 20 feet before a second bystander tackled the fleeing suspect, according to the charges. As officers attempted to handcuff Antonio-Mishenko, one officer used his Taser on him, the charges state.

Antonio-Mishenko continued to resist arrest, prompting an officer to use what is stated in the charges as “a pain compliance technique to Mishenko’s ear,” which then allowed police to get handcuffs on him, according to the charges.

In August, Antonio-Mishenko was charged with criminal mischief and arson after allegedly starting a small fire and causing damage at a construction site in Provo, according to charging documents. A warrant was issued for his arrest in that case on Sept. 20 when he failed to show up for court, according to court records.


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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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