CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City Police officer was struck by a vehicle early Sunday morning after the driver of the vehicle disregarded the officer’s instruction to pull over and struck the officer while fleeing the scene.
At approximately 2:45 a.m., Cedar City Police were dispatched to an apartment complex located in the 100 North block of College Way, according to a Cedar City Police Department press statement. Upon arrival, officers encountered three people who were engaging in criminal behavior.
Officers initiated contact with the three people and gave commands for them to pull their vehicle to a designated spot for further investigation.
“The driver of the vehicle disregarded officer instructions and accelerated past the officer,” the statement said, “striking the officer’s body with the vehicle.”
The officer, whose name has not been released, sustained minor injuries and was able to continue in an attempt to apprehend the suspects. Officers pursued the suspects for a short distance prior to the vehicle coming to a stop and the suspects fleeing on foot.
“In an effort to safely apprehend the suspects and ensure public safety, police, with the assistance of deputies from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, utilized K-9’s and a Department of Public Safety helicopter to locate two suspects without incident,” the statement said.
Officers worked to identify the third person by following leads and coordinating with known associates. The third suspect was located in a local motel hours later and was taken into custody without incident.
The driver of the vehicle, 19-year-old Austin Hank McHenry, of St. George, was booked into the Iron County Jail on three third-degree charges of evading and assault on a police officer; two class A misdemeanors for failure to comply and assault on an officer; two class B misdemeanors for unlawful possession of alcohol and reckless driving; and seven class C misdemeanors for having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and numerous traffic offenses.
McHenry’s bail stands at $25,000.
A passenger in the vehicle, 18-year-old Carson Barry Oates, of St. George, was booked into the Iron County Jail on one class A misdemeanor for evading police; one class B misdemeanor for consumption of alcohol by a minor; and one class C misdemeanor for having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
Oates’ bail is set at $2,640.
A third, unnamed passenger was cited and released.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.