Foul-mouthed Utah lawmaker is filmed trying to bully cops into freeing his convicted burglar son
A southeastern Utah county commissioner was caught on tape threatening and berating a sheriff’s deputy about his son’s post-Thanksgiving arrest.
On November 25, 2022, San Juan County Commissioner Bruce Adams was called to pick up his son’s car after Kenneth Adams was taken to jail on an outstanding warrant connected to a burglary conviction from 2020.
He had a dramatic meltdown upon learning of his son’s arrest, and was filmed threatening to escalate the incident with the sheriff himself.
Kenneth had been pulled over at a routine traffic stop for failing to signal and came to a complete stop at a stop sign.
An irate Bruce Adams arrives to claim his son’s vehicle and grill the sheriff’s deputies over the details of the warrant that he believes is false.
County Commissioner Bruce Adams sits for an interview in the aftermath of his son’s arrest and his tense interaction with local sheriff’s deputies.
The SUV was pulled over by San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputy Brayden Giddings, who would then inform Kenneth he would be going to jail because of the warrant.
According to police footage from the night, Giddings and Deputy Wyatt Holyoak put Kenneth in the back of the squad car and discussed releasing the SUV to Kenneth’s parents.
In the law enforcement report that followed the incident, Holyoak wrote that, upon arrival at the scene, longtime county commissioner Bruce Adams was not pleased at all.
,[Bruce Adams] approached me and stated that he wanted to see the ‘Mother f—— warrant right away,’ he wrote.
I told [Bruce] I could not show him personal returns on my computer. [Bruce] replied that I better show him the goddamn warrant right away.
‘It appeared to me that [Bruce] was trying to use his influence as a County Commissioner to intimidate me into showing him information that I was not permitted to do.’
On the tapes of the incident, Bruce can be heard asking where his son is.
‘He’s in jail. They took him,’ said Holyoak.
‘You already took him to jail?’ said Adams, asking why they would have done that.
‘For a warrant,’ replied Holyoak.
‘Who do I call to find out?’ To install boomed Adams. ‘You’re a police officer. Tell me who I call to find out why he is in jail.
‘What do you want me to do?’ Holyoak asked the irate Adams.
‘I want you to turn him loose,’ he said.
‘I can’t turn him loose, Bruce,’ Holyoak responded, saying that only the court has the power to do so, given the nature of the warrant.
The warrant, Adams insisted, was false, saying his son had dealt with the legal implications of the burglary charge years ago.
‘The warrant’s not false,’ said Holyoak. ‘The warrant’s right there.’
It was then that Adams invoked what sounded like a threat.
‘Do you want me to sue the son-of-ab****ing county sheriff because he arrested my kid on a false warrant?’ asked Adams.
‘The warrant’s right there,’ Holyoak said. ‘It’s not false.’
Kenneth Adams as he is apprehended and sent to jail on November 25, 2022
Kenneth Adams gives his dad a call as he is taken to jail on the night of November 25, 2022 following a routine traffic stop
As it ultimately turned out, the warrant pertained to some missing documents relating to Kenneth Adams’ 2020 case, which were eventually squared off. Last week, the court returned the $150 used to bail Adams out that night.
In the aftermath of the footage getting out and the exchange becoming public, Bruce Adams sat down with a local KUTV 2News station to issue an apology for his behavior.
Reporter Daniel Woodruff asked Adams if his behavior the night of the incident had been appropriate.
‘No,’ said Adams. ‘It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing for me to act that way. I feel bad that I did that. But I was emotional.
He said he had sincerely believed there to be an issue with the warrant and that he did not believe he was acting in his capacity as commissioner during the exchange.
‘Nobody addressed me as Commissioner Adams at any time during the incident,’ he said. ‘In my opinion, I was acting as a father.’
The reporter noted that, as an elected official, Adams is never really off duty and is always behaving as an extension of his office.
He agreed: ‘Absolutely. Don’t disagree with that one bit.
Adams noted that he has since apologized to the sheriff’s office—though their office’s report makes mention of no such thing, according to KUTV.
But Adams insisted: ‘I called the sheriff the next day and I said, you know, I shouldn’t have done what I did.’