ST. GEORGE — A Hurricane man was arrested New Year’s Day after shooting at a pickup truck multiple times because “he feared for his safety.”
Daniel Trent Patterson, 32, told Washington County Sheriff’s deputies that he shot at a pickup truck early Tuesday morning due to his fearing the occupant meant to cause harm, according to a probable cause statement.
The incident occurred in the Hurricane-Warner Valley area where Patterson kept a truck and motor home. Patterson told the deputies that a pickup had almost run into his vehicles as it passed by and disappeared for an hour before reappearing as it headed toward Patterson’s location.
“Daniel Patterson said he feared for his safety as well as his girlfriend’s,” a responding deputy wrote in the probable cause statement. “Daniel said the truck was heading in his direction and when it was about 150 feet away, he fired several warning shots.”
The truck turned away from Patterson, who fired several more shots and hit the back of the truck and kept firing as the truck passed by. He told the deputies he only meant to hit the body of the truck so its occupants would “know to leave him alone.” The deputy wrote the following:
According to Daniel, the truck stopped and there was movement (inside) and he thought they were possibly grabbing for a weapon so he fired again wanting to put as many rounds into the back of their truck in hopes that would scare them off and make them leave faster.
Patterson told the deputies he didn’t see how many people were in the truck, nor did he see any weapons.
Deputies located the truck and its four occupants, who said they had passed Patterson’s location while on the way to hunt rabbits in another part of the valley. The road to that part of the valley just happened to be behind Patterson’s RV.
After hunting for an hour, the group was heading back toward the area where Patterson was.
“They then saw (Patterson) get out of his truck and start shooting at them,” the deputy wrote.
Patterson kept firing as they tried to avoid him and ended up having to slow the truck down as the driver changed the truck from low to high gear. As the truck slowed, the group told deputies that Patterson stopped shooting, reloaded his gun and started shooting again.
The truck sped away and the group said Patterson chased after them until they got away, according to the probable cause statement.
Deputies found bullet holes in the driver’s side taillight of the truck, as well as in the driver’s side rear pillar. The shot taken by the pillar was “only inches away” from where one of the truck’s occupants had been sitting. The rear driver’s side tire was also flat from a possible shot, the deputy wrote.
After talking to the parties involved, collecting evidence and investigating the site of the shooting, the deputies determined that Patterson “was not in imminent danger and was not justified in using deadly force.”
Patterson was arrested and booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility and has since been released on bail. He faces four third-degree felonies for aggravated assault.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.
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