HURRICANE – A man threatened to kill a police officer and his family Thursday after the officer arrested him for stealing a grocery store shopping cart.
While eastbound near 3700 W. State Street in Hurricane, an officer observed a man pushing a shopping cart on the shoulder of the road, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Hurricane City Police Department in support of the arrest.
When the man saw the officer, he began to walk away from the shopping cart, the statement said. The officer parked his patrol vehicle and went to speak with the man.
“I observed the male pull something from his person and throw it,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement.
The officer picked up the item and noticed it was a Valley Bank Visa Card belonging to a woman.
When asked about the credit card and who it belonged to, the man, identified by his passport as 60-year-old John Howard Axelgard, said he “had just found the card.”
When the officer asked Axelgard where he had gotten the shopping cart, the statement said, Axelgard said he had gotten it at Lin’s grocery store.
“I asked John if he had permission to have the cart,” the arresting officer wrote. “John stated he was going to return it to another Lins.”
The officer spoke with the assistant manager of Lin’s grocery store in Hurricane who confirmed Axelgard was not given permission to take the shopping cart, according to the probable cause statement.
When the officer contacted the owner of the credit card, the statement said, the owner confirmed they didn’t know Axelgard or give him permission to have the card.
Axelgard was placed under arrest and, on the way to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility where he was subsequently booked, Axelgard began making threats to the officer.
“John threatened to kill my family,” the officer wrote. “John also stated I was a dead man.”
Axelgard was charged with a third-degree felony for unlawful acquisition of a finance card, a class A misdemeanor for obstruction of justice, and two class B misdemeanors for shoplifting and threat of violence.
Judge Jeffrey Wilcox, of the 5th District Court, ordered $8,300 bail for Axelgard’s release pending trial.
He was found indigent by the court during his initial court appearance Friday and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Aric Cramer. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance Nov. 2.
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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