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Man arrested for carrying gun into school rearrested on suspicion of witness tampering

Cody Armstrong

Sun Advocate reporter

For the second time this month, a West Valley City man has been arrested in connection with alleged crimes which took place at Castle Heights Elementary. After posting bail on April 10 after he was taken in on suspicion of posing as a police officer and illegally carrying a gun into Castle Heights Elementary last January, Cody Rand Armstrong reportedly returned to the Price school on April 11 and contacted a witness associated with the case.

According to Price police, Armstrong was then arrested for witness tampering, a third degree felony on April 19. As of press time, he was being held at the Carbon County Jail for the tampering offense as well as a 72-hour probation hold. His bail has been set at $5,000.

Police say the criminal components of this case began coming together on Jan. 25, when Armstrong reportedly presented himself as an undercover Price Police officer while picking up his girlfriend's children at Castle Heights.

According to Principal Jan Cox, Armstrong began posing as an officer when school officials attempted to gather his contact information should he need to pick up the children again.

"He told my staff that he was an undercover Price City Police officer and that he would have to gain his C.I.'s permission in order to give out his phone number," said Cox. "My staff immediately took issue with this explanation."

Cox was not personally at Castle Heights during Armstrong's January visit. School had been let out for the day and she was attending meetings at the district office. According to Cox, her staff reported that Armstrong was "ultra polite" while at the school in January and never threatened anyone or acted in an aggressive manner.

"When he turned to leave, a staff member saw his jacket come up in the back and noted what looked like a gun," she said. "At that point, we decided to contact law enforcement because his whole story just wasn't making sense."

Cox reported that she informed the district as soon as she learned of the incident. She additionally stated that the school was never placed on lockdown.

According to Price Police Capt. Bill Barnes, the case was investigated by Det. Ed Malmgren, the school's DARE Officer and their contact. Based upon the children picked up, Malmgren discerned the suspect's identity and learned that he was a convicted felon. He was reportedly in the process of turning in his report and applying for a warrant when the suspect contacted Price Police.

"The suspect had found out that we were looking for him and agreed to come in for an interview," said Capt. Barnes. "As a convicted felon, he is not able to carry a gun. He was very cooperative and apologetic."

Armstrong was released on April 10 from the Carbon County Jail on bond after his bail was reduced from $10,000 to $3,000.

"Following his initial arrest, he could have waited outside," commented Barnes, who said that Armstrong was at the school to pick up his girlfriend's children once again on April 11. "But instead, he scared the staff, especially those who reported the initial incident. The things he did qualified for arrest."

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