23-year-old confronted with TASER says ‘just playing’ before being arrested

ST. GEORGE – A young man may arguably have picked a fight with the wrong person during a party where alcohol was allegedly being served to minors Sunday as he found himself arrested for assaulting a police officer.

Officers responded to the 1000 East block of 900 South on a noise complaint where it had been reported there were vehicles on the street and a loud party going on with possible underage drinking, according to a probable cause statement written by St. George Police Officer Ean Williams in support of the arrest.

Michael Burdette Sargent, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted April 26, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Michael Burdette Sargent, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted April 26, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

While officers were on scene, people began to come out of the residence as well as show up for the party.

While the officer was talking with three people near the residence, the statement said, 23-year-old Michael Burdette Sargent walked around the corner and asked his friend to come over to him. His friend reportedly told him no because the police were running his identification.

After the officer told Sargent his friend could speak with him in a moment, Sargent began to walk in the officer’s direction, according to the statement of probable cause; the officer wrote in the statement:

I asked him if I could help him while his friend was telling him to stay back. Michael picked up his pace and balled his fists up. I yelled at Michael ‘police, stop right there!’ Michael said ‘nah, nigga’ and squared up into a fighting stance. Michael put his right foot forward and brought his arms up with his hands balled into fists as I was backing up to create distance. Michael then took … a step towards me and lunged forward with his right shoulder as if to strike me.

Williams drew his TASER and yelled “police, get on the ground!” at which point, Sargent complied and told Williams he was just “playing,” according to the probable cause statement.

Another officer placed Sargent into handcuffs and detained him. Officers learned Sargent lived at the home where the party was taking place and alcohol was allegedly provided for minors to consume.

Sargent was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

He was charged with a class A misdemeanor for assault on a police officer, two class B misdemeanors for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and negligently providing alcohol to a minor, and a class C misdemeanor for intoxication.

Fifth District Judge Michael Westfall ordered Sargent’s bail amount set at $5,000 during his initial court appearance Monday. Sargent was found indigent by the court and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Aric Cramer. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 5.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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8 Comments

  • RealMcCoy April 28, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Exactly how did he ‘assault’ this officer? Were the officer’s feelings hurt? Did he scare the officer? Is it the officer filing the charges, or are his parents the ones filing the charges on his behalf?

    In all seriousness, the kid was an idiot for ‘just playing’ with an officer of the law. They have no sense of humor anyways, so why give him a reason to taze you?
    On the flip side- he wasn’t touched, so the assault charge shouldn’t be allowed to stick.

    • Mike April 28, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      The legal definition of “assault” is not the same as your own. “Battery” is the contact you are thinking of. This assault occurred by the aggressive approach, fists raised and lunging at the officer, even without touching him.

    • Brian April 29, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Honestly, this idiot punk is lucky he isn’t dead. And if he were, it would be his fault, not the police officers. You have to understand and appreciate the position these officers are put into every day, especially when officers they know and respect are killed senselessly, and almost instantly (like the officer in Draper, the two in Vegas, the female officer in Delta, etc). Of course they have no sense of humor when on the job. This “just playing” moron was acting aggressively well within the 21 foot danger zone officers are trained on again and again (and which is probably too close and should be further: http://www.policemag.com/channel/patrol/articles/2007/10/rethinking-the-21-foot-rule.aspx). If the officer was your brother, how would you want him to respond?

  • fun bag April 28, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    scum bag!

  • Free Parking April 28, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Double scum bag

  • tcrider April 29, 2015 at 9:20 am

    this looks like the same guy that stold the skateboard from shop downtown saint george, it was also recorded on camera

  • sagemoon April 29, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Yep, a dumb scum bag.

  • Tm2282 April 29, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Look at the bookings. Looks like this idiot is also on probation. Triple scum bag

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