LaVerkin man arrested for aggravated burglary after kicking in door of St. George apartment

St. George Police stage at Fossil Ridge Intermediate School in St. George, Utah, July 9, 2019 | File photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — An 18-year-old LaVerkin man is in jail facing multiple charges, including aggravated burglary, after allegedly kicking in the door of an apartment in St. George with three other suspects.

Ashton McKoy Smith, 18, of LaVerkin, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Oct. 5, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Ashton Smith was arrested Saturday night and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he faces two second-degree felony charges, including burglary of a dwelling and aggravated burglary, along with a misdemeanor count of damage/interrupt a communication device. He remains in custody on $10,000 bail, according to charging documents submitted to the court.

The arrest stems from an incident that took place earlier that same day when officers were dispatched to a report of a residential burglary on East Dinosaur Crossing at about 3 p.m. where they were told by the residents that four men had kicked in their front door and entered the apartment.

Police were also told that the males wanted to steal high-priced items from the home, and while surveying the apartment officers noticed that the front door sustained damage consistent with what was reported by the residents.

The report also states that one of the suspects was identified as 18-year-old Ashton Smith.

Officers learned that Smith and another man came to the individuals’ apartment to hang out the previous evening when at some point the man accompanying Smith physically assaulted one of the residents in the kitchen. A physical fight ensued, and when one of the residents pointed an airsoft gun at the two suspects, they ran from the unit.

A short time later, Smith and his friend allegedly returned to the apartment with two additional suspects who attempted to gain access to the residence by kicking the door, and when one of the residents looked through the peephole in the door, they saw that one of the men was allegedly holding a firearm.

At that point, the resident told the suspects he was calling police and the men fled the complex.

Later that same day, the four suspects returned to the apartment and knocked on the door a couple of times, but the victims didn’t answer after looking through the peephole and seeing the same four men, one of which was allegedly Smith.

The residents attempted to barricade the door using boxes and other items, but as they did so, the suspects kicked in the door and entered the apartment. One of the guests told the suspects they were calling the police, and when they tried to use their cell phone, Smith took the phone from the individual.

In the meantime, one of the tenants pointed the airsoft gun at the suspects who then ran from the apartment.

Police vehicles in LaVerkin, Utah, June 15, 2019 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Later at the police station, Smith was identified through a photo lineup and through the course of the investigation, officers learned the suspect was at his residence in LaVerkin and contacted the LaVerkin Police Department to assist.

Officers responded to the residence where they found Smith who was then transported to the LaVerkin Police Department for questioning and was soon joined by detectives from St. George.

While speaking to police, Smith allegedly admitted that he and his friend were at the apartment Friday evening and said his friend punched the resident while they were in the kitchen of the apartment, but claimed he didn’t know why, the report states.

Smith also provided details of a physical struggle and told officers that the residents in the apartment pulled an airsoft gun and shot Smith’s friend, who was allegedly struck by BB pellets multiple times.

Police say Smith also admitted to returning to the apartment with his friend and the two other men, but claimed he didn’t have knowledge of anyone in the group having a firearm and said they never made contact with the residents when they returned to the apartment the following day. He did say that two of the suspects kicked in the door, which is when all four entered the apartment.

Smith also told police that he had one of the individuals’ cell phones in his hand during the altercation inside of the apartment, but denied taking it and said he believed he obtained it when the two were pushed into each other near the entry of the residence.

Once the interview was over Smith was transported to jail. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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

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