SWAT responds to armored man threatening Cedar City neighborhood

Cedar City Police cruiser stock image | Photo by Mori Kessler, Cedar City News / St. George News

CEDAR CITY — A suspect wearing body armor was shot by a police officer Sunday night in Cedar City.

At 11 p.m. Christmas Eve, Cedar City Police officers were dispatched to the 1800 West block of Clark Parkway in Cedar City on a third-party report of a suicidal subject who may have harmed himself. There were also reported to be family in the residence including children.

Deputies of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office responded as well.

The suspect has been identified in a news release issued by the Cedar City Police Department as 38-year-old Benjamin Dee Wilcken. Ultimately, Wilcken barricaded himself in the garage of the residence.

Officers from the Iron Metro SWAT Team were dispatched to the scene where negotiations with the suspect began.

According to the police news release, Wilcken made threats directed at officers and nearby residents involving the detonation of explosives. On later search of residence, however, no explosive materials were found.

Residents of surrounding homes were evacuated for their safety. They all complied and left the area.

After nearly two hours of negotiations, police said, Wilcken entered from the garage into the home where officers were waiting to take him into custody. But, police said in their statement, he failed to comply with officers’ orders, adding:

Wilcken wielded a handheld weapon that he referred to as a ‘Battle Axe,’ toward the Officers.  Two Officers deployed Tasers with no effect.  A third Officer fired one round from his department issued handgun, striking Wilcken.  Wilcken retreated in to the garage again.

Several more hours of negotiation took place before the suspect surrendered peacefully without further incident.

“It was discovered that Wilcken was wearing military style body armor at the time that he was shot,” the release states. “Wilcken suffered some self-inflicted injuries that were not life threatening.”

He was transported to Cedar City Hospital where he was treated and released into the custody of the Cedar City Police Department.

Wilcken was booked into the Iron County Jail on charges of aggravated assault against law enforcement, a second degree felony, terroristic threats, a second degree felony, disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor, and intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.

This incident is being investigated by the Iron/Beaver/Garfield Critical Incident Task Force and remains under investigation.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • Caveat_Emptor December 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

    CC Police showed uncommon restraint in dealing with this jerk, especially with so many family members at risk.

  • r2d2 December 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    This idiot found out body armor might stop a bullet, but it still hunts like hell. What a way for an officer to spend Christmas eve.

    • Rob83 December 26, 2017 at 7:24 am

      Yeah exactly. Wonder what the “battle axe” was all about. Ummm, if he was suicidal why the armor? I think somebody was looking for a little TLC in the wrongest way, the things policemen have to see and deal with…

  • General Seamstress December 26, 2017 at 12:13 am

    “viking lives matter”

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