Swat team sent in to arrest alleged squatters

Stock Photo | St. George / Cedar City News

ENOCH CITY – Two men are in custody Friday after police arrested them for allegedly living in an empty residence without permission from the homeowners.

At approximately 11:20 a.m. the Iron County Swat Team forced its way into a residence where James Dean Hanson, 51, and Taylor Michael Button, 20, had allegedly been “squatting” this last month, said Iron County Sheriff Lt. Del Schlosser. The residence is located in Midvalley Estates at the block of 5200 North and 3100 West.

Squatting is defined as occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land – or a building, usually residential – that the person does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use.

Police learned about the living situation last weekend while they were dealing with an unrelated matter. Upon checking with the homeowner they confirmed no one had permission to live there, Schlosser said. Based upon the information, authorities obtained a warrant to enter the home.

Due to Hanson’s violent criminal history and the fact there was reportedly a weapon on site, the sheriff’s office enlisted the help of the Iron County Swat Team to execute the warrant and make entry into the home, Schlosser said. Details on Hanson’s criminal history were not available.

Police can confirm the duo had been living in the residence since at least Aug. 3.

“They weren’t just staying there, they had moved in,” Schlosser said. “They had furniture there and everything you need to make a home.”

The men also reportedly had access to electricity as the homeowner had left the power on.

Hanson and Button are facing charges for burglary, a second-degree felony, and two class B misdemeanors for theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hansen is also looking at an additional charge for possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.

Since Hanson and Button were arrested on felony charges a 5th District Judge must set the amount of their bail. At the time of publication, the men were just being booked into the Iron County jail and paperwork for bail amounts had not yet been set.

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  • tcrider August 26, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    just some bundy wanabees

    • .... August 29, 2016 at 9:05 am

      they probably though it was a bird refuge

  • 42214 August 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Swat team for 2 misdemeanor squatters? Wow, very impressive use of resources.

    • Real Life August 27, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      It does seem a tad extreme.

  • Hrock August 26, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Lolz what a different story this would have been back in 2009 or 2010.

  • .... August 27, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Squatters in Cedar City not paying their meth taxes ?

  • wilbur August 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I remember when Daryl Gates, LAPD commissioner, created the first SWAT team back in the late’70’s .

    He said he was going to be used for hostage-type situations.

    We can see here that this idea has fully spread spread, and how much mission creep has taken place.

    (Everybody wants to be SPECOPS for a day, I guess.)

    Thankfully, no one was shot in this horribly dangerous situation.

  • DesertBill August 27, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    “Hansen is also looking at an additional charge for possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.”

  • SteveSGU August 28, 2016 at 12:27 am

    “At the block of 5200 North and 3100 West” doesn’t tell us anything. It is not good English, nor does it describe a block correctly. Are you talking about something near the intersection of those two streets? Or the 5200 block of No. 3100 West? Or perhaps the 3100 block of W. 5200 North?

    • 42214 August 28, 2016 at 9:48 am

      It’s SG News, lower your expectations Steve.

  • Brendon August 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Their dogs killed my mom’s goat. We didn’t know they were squatters. Just assumed that someone forgot to take the trash out at that house

    • RealMcCoy August 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Then be a man and kill the dogs!
      Nothing says ‘I took care of the problem’ like flinging the carcasses of a goat-killing dog back over their property line.

  • .... August 29, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    If Bob was here we would get the true story !

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