ST. GEORGE – A St. George neighborhood was on high-alert Saturday evening as police searched for a man with a handgun who had allegedly fired the gun at least twice in and near a home before fleeing the scene. The man was located Sunday morning and arrested on a variety of criminal charges.
Around 6:30 p.m., officers responded to a psychiatric call at a St. George residence where a “distraught” man, later identified as Ronald Bodi McEwen, interfered with a phone call a woman was trying to make to authorities for help, St. George Police Sgt. Spencer Holmes said.
“In the process of interfering with that phone call,” Holmes said, “he also damaged some property.”
During the alleged argument with the woman, McEwen discharged a handgun inside the residence and then again at a nearby street sign.
McEwen then fled the home, putting the Little Valley neighborhood of St. George and surrounding area on high-alert as word quickly spread that residents should stay inside their homes and lock their doors while police searched the area for a man with a gun.
“He was believed to be under the influence of medication,” Holmes said, “and possibly going through a mental episode.”
While the handgun was recovered at the scene Saturday night, McEwen wasn’t located until Sunday morning, walking in the area of 400 W. St. George Blvd. where he was apprehended by police.
“He was interviewed and found to be in possession of a stolen firearm,” Holmes said, “and had discharged that weapon in the city limits.”
The stolen firearm was an active case in St. George, Holmes said, unrelated to the incidents that unfolded Saturday night.
In addition to the stolen gun, McEwen was found to be in possession of other stolen items including ammunition, drugs and drug paraphernalia.
McEwen was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
According to booking information, McEwen was charged with a second-degree felony for theft of a firearm; two class A misdemeanors for theft between $500-$1,500; and six class B misdemeanors for discharging a firearm in the city, interfering with an emergency call, criminal mischief and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Prior run-in with the law
During a March investigation, officers discovered an in-cab camera in a Toyota McEwen had been driving, police said. Footage from the camera allegedly showed McEwen crashing into a block wall twice and committing other offenses before throwing a jug of chemicals out the Toyota’s window.
The video then showed McEwen swerving on the roadway and apparently choosing not to stop for police as he looked into his rear-view and side mirrors while police pursued him with emergency lights flashing.
McEwen then crashed his Toyota into the back of another truck that was stopped at a red light. After receiving medical clearance, McEwen was taken into police custody.
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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