HURRICANE – Two St. George men were arrested Tuesday evening after allegedly throwing a rock at a Hurricane man before chasing him to his house, throwing a rock through his window and attempting to hack through his front door with a hatchet ax.
Just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a residence near 300 South and 100 West in Hurricane on a report of an attempted burglary.
A 20-year-old man initially reported that a man, later identified as 24-year-old Addison Major Morton, attempted to rob him of his cellphone after he let him use it while at a gas station in Hurricane, according to a probable cause statement written by Hurricane City Police Officer Edward Smith in support of the arrest.
The man said a scuffle ensued over the cellphone, and that is when a second man, later identified as 26-year-old Victor Aaron Shillander, picked up a large rock and threw it at him.
The Hurricane man then tried to escape by running to his nearby home, with Morton and Shillander following close behind.
“(Morton) got a hatchet out of the trunk of the car and chased him as well,” Smith wrote in the statement. “The male stated the suspects threw a rock through the front bedroom window. (The man) stated (Morton) used the hatchet ax in an attempt to break down the front door of the residence. There were several slices and holes in the front door that are consistent with this statement.”
The mother of the 20-year-old man came to see what was going on as her son was holding the front door shut with all his weight to keep it closed, the statement said. The door jamb was broken, and the latch was lying on the floor. He told her he had been robbed. She called the police as the men used the hatchet on the door.
The Hurricane man later admitted to police he was meeting with Morton and Shillander at the gas station to purchase “tree,” or marijuana.
“Through a lengthy interview with (the man), he told us he got in the car at the Chevron and he didn’t want to pay $100 for six to seven grams of marijuana, so he snatched the weed from them,” Smith wrote. “This is when the scuffle inside the vehicle occurred. (The Hurricane man) stated he got out of the vehicle and threw the marijuana back at the males and ran to his residence close by.”
While officers were still on scene, Morton and Shillander drove by the residence. Officers yelled and ordered them to stop, but Morton kept driving and “exited the subdivision at a high rate of speed,” according to the statement.
Morton and Shillander were later arrested in St. George and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Morton was charged with a second-degree felony for attempted aggravated burglary, two third-degree felonies for aggravated assault and failing to stop at the command of an officer and a class B misdemeanor for criminal mischief.
Shillander was charged with three class B misdemeanors for assault, criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia.
This was not their first run-in with the law.
Morton was convicted of interfering with an arresting officer in June 2010 and retail theft in September 2010, according to Utah state court records. He was also convicted on drug-related charges in August 2009, February 2011 and July 2014.
Shillander was convicted on drug-related charges in January 2007 and June 2010, according to court documents. He is currently facing retail theft charges for an April 2014 offense and drug-related charges from a June 2014 offense.
They are scheduled to make their initial court appearances on the new charges on Thursday.
As this report is published, Hurricane City Police Sgt. Brandon Buell said the incident is still under investigation. There are still potential charges that may be filed for the 20-year-old man’s involvement in the ordeal, he said, as the investigation continues.
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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