Officials arrest man after 2-hour warrant service, SWAT response in St. George

St. George Police Department's SWAT team responds to a warrant service in St. George, Utah, July 17, 2019 | Photo by Brett Barrett, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A SWAT incident that lasted over two hours ended in the arrest of one man Wednesday.

Matthew Mitchell booking photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The Washington County Drug Task Force initiated warrant services at around 7 p.m. Officials also deployed the St. George Police Department’s SWAT and K-9 units and dispatched multiple Gold Cross ambulances.

St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin told St. George News that officers went to 2056 Middleton Drive in the Casita Del Sol town home community to serve a federal drug distribution warrant and that Matthew Mitchell barricaded himself in the residence when officers arrived.

Officials went to the residence with an arrest warrant but needed to draft a warrant to enter the home, which is why police stayed at the residence for over two hours, Atkin said.

“Obviously, we’ve got to do things in a certain manner so that no one is hurt and that just takes time and resources,” she said. “We are always careful to make sure that we don’t just storm the castle and somebody gets hurt, whether it’s us or them. We take our time and do it the right way.”

Area residents reported that they were not allowed to enter or exit their homes for over two hours, and witnesses in the area said police used a bullhorn to communicate with Mitchell.

St. George Police Department’s SWAT team responds to a warrant service in St. George, Utah, July 17, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Jared Languein, St. George News

The Washington County Drug Task Force booked Mitchell into custody around 11:30 p.m.

On Oct. 17, 2018, Mitchell pleaded guilty to one class A misdemeanor charge of use or possession of drug paraphernalia and one class B misdemeanor charge of possession or use of a controlled substance. He entered into a 12-month plea in abeyance agreement with the Wasatch County Court in Heber on the same day.

In order to satisfy the agreement, Mitchell had to meet a number of conditions. According to court documents, he was ordered to complete an alcohol and substance abuse assessment as well as follow through with any recommended treatment. Proof of completion for the assessment was due to the court within 30 days of the agreement, and proof of the complete treatment was due within six months.

Mitchell was also required to pay a fee of $500 and a court security fee of $50, totaling $550. The agreement allowed Mitchell to pay 11 monthly installments of $50.

He failed to complete the alcohol and substance abuse assessment and any recommended treatment after six months but did complete an anger management class with Assessment, Counseling and Educational Services.

On May 15, Mitchell filed a certification of completion for the anger management, alcohol and drug class as well as an Ability to Change completion form, receipt for a parenting class and a receipt for a substance abuse assessment. The judge continued the order to show cause, waiting for proof of payment and completion of the alcohol and substance abuse assessment and any recommended treatment.

Mitchell failed to satisfy the conditions of his plea in abeyance agreement, and at the most recent order to show cause hearing on Wednesday, he failed to appear. The judge authorized a bench warrant in the amount of $2,500 cash or bond.

Mitchell is facing additional charges in Washington County following yesterday’s events, including interfering with an arrest.

Email: rrichardson@stgnews.com 

Twitter: @STGnews | @AvereeRyann 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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