ST. GEORGE – A Hildale man was taken to jail Sunday after allegedly charging at a police officer with a hammer.
David Rulon Pledger, 36, was arrested Sunday afternoon and subsequently charged with felony counts of assaulting a police officer, burglary and intentional criminal mischief. Those charges are accompanied by misdemeanor counts of threats of violence and interfering with an arresting officer.
According to a probable cause statement, an officer with the Hildale/Colorado City Marshal’s Office responded to a reported act of vandalism in progress at a cabin at the Tumurru Ranch. Upon the officer’s arrival, he found a man with a framing hammer hitting a padlocked plywood window protector.
The officer asked the man, later identified as Pledger, to stop hitting the window protector, and instead was told by Pledger to “leave his property.”
“I know it wasn’t his property,” the officer wrote in the statement, adding that he then told Pledger to put the hammer down.
At this point, Pledger jumped a “little stem wall” and charged at the officer with his hammer raised over his head in this right hand, according to the statement. He also let out a “guttural sounding scream” as he approached the officer.
The officer wrote that he felt his “life was in serious danger” as this point and drew his gun while yelling at Pledger to stop.
While taking a step backward, the officer stepped in a hole and lost his footing and ended up getting pinned against a tree by Pledger, according to the statement.
The officer managed to block Pledger’s right arm so he wouldn’t be hit by the hammer while also jabbing the his gun in the man’s gut and yelling at him to drop the hammer.
According to the probable cause statement, Pledger “took a step back and went back over the stem wall.”
At the scene, the officer observed that some shutters and pieces of wood from the cabin had been broken off and placed in a pile. Pledger told the officer the pile was from “his house and he was remodeling it.”
Pledger was subsequently arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
The officer noted that Pledger matched the description of a man from two different reports who had been chasing cars with a hammer earlier that day. Pledger was later identified by one of the individuals who reported the car-chasing incidents while he was at the police department.
Pledger made his initial appearance in 5th District Court Monday. He is slated to appear in court again next Monday.
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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