Police find suspect in attempted gunpoint robbery subdued by would-be victim

St. George Police officer responded to a residence on Indian Hills Drive where a man was reported to have "brandished a gun during the commission of a crime," St. George Police Lt. Rich Triplett said, St. George, Utah, Dec. 10, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A 24-year-old man was arrested Saturday night for allegedly attempting to rob another man at gunpoint.

Police were called to the Woodbridge neighborhood at 1301 W. Indian Hills Drive around 6:40 p.m. last Saturday after being alerted to a potential armed robbery at a residence there.

Steven Valenzuela, bookings photo for Dec. 10, 2016 | Photo courtesty of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George news
Steven Valenzuela, booking photo for Dec. 10, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George news

When police arrived at the scene, they found the alleged would-be robber, “held down on the ground by two males, with a gun on the grass next to him,” according to a probable cause statement.

The man being held down was identified through a Nevada driver’s license as Steven Valenzuela and is accused of pulling a gun on a homeowner and demanding money.

Once the gun had been pulled and demands had been made, the rest of the night did not unfold in Valenzuela’s favor.

The homeowner “took the gun away from Steven and pushed him away,” according to the police report. “Steven continued to try and punch and kick at (the homeowner) though.”

At this point the homeowner’s nephew helped pin Valenzuela to the ground until police arrived.

The homeowner told police he had never encountered Valenzuela before that incident.

Aside from a cut the homeowner received on his right hand while trying to get the gun away from Valenzuela, no major injuries were reported.

After Valenzuela was taken into custody, an officer who spoke to him smelled alcohol on his breath, according to the report. It was later learned he had been drinking since around 3 p.m. that day. Though he did admit to drinking, he did not submit to any testing at the time.

Valenzuela was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility and faces criminal offenses of first-degree felony aggravated robbery and misdemeanors related to intoxication, carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and assault.

The probable cause statement did not specify whether the gun was loaded or not.

Valenzuela was released from jail after posted bail and has court appearance set for Friday.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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  • Kristi December 13, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Basically he’ll get away with it especially if he gets judge Wilcox. Just a slap on the wrist from that judge is all anybody gets!!!

  • Mean Momma December 14, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Way to go Home Owner! Way to turn it around on him…

  • .... December 14, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Maybe he needs to find a new line of work because he’s not a very bright criminal ! LOL

  • comments December 14, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    This type of thing seems to be becoming an everyday occurrence as the area grows.

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