Suspect arrested for allegedly pulling fake gun on family at Sand Hollow State Park

2016 file photo of park ranger vehicle near Sand Hollow State Park, Hurricane, Utah, April 27, 2020 | FIle photo by Julie Applegate, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Hurricane man was arrested Sunday after a visitor at Sand Hollow State Park reported that the suspect pulled out a gun and threatened him in front of his children.

On Sunday afternoon, the main office at Sand Hollow State Park received a call from a park visitor reporting that a man had just threatened him and his family with a gun, according to charging documents filed with the court. 

Park rangers responded and spoke to the reporting party who told police the incident began when a boater was stranded at the dock and asked him for help pulling his boat out of the water. 

When the man failed to respond, the report states, the suspect “reached down and came back up with a black handgun,” which he held at chest level and pointed in the direction of the visitor, saying, “Karma’s a b—-. I’ll find you and you’ll get yours,” according to the report. 

The visitor, who was boating at the park with his three children, ages 8, 11 and 16, quickly pulled away and called the office out of fear that the suspect would “harm him or his family.”

John Chase Loveridge, 35, of Hurricane, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, July 26, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St George News

The caller also provided a physical and clothing description of the suspect, who was later identified as John Loveridge, 35, of Hurricane.

Rangers were able to identify the suspect by his clothing description, which they were already familiar with because they had stopped Loveridge earlier that same day to impound his vehicle. 

The suspect was located by two park rangers who spotted him standing next to his boat. When officers ordered him to turn around and place his hands behind his back, authorities say Loveridge refused, and it was only after multiple officers became involved that he complied.

The suspect was then taken into custody and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility. He was booked into jail on multiple charges, including third-degree felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor resisting arrest, as well as a possession of marijuana charge. 

Officers later determined that the handgun allegedly used during the incident was an airsoft gun.

The suspect remains in custody on $6,390 bail. 

This report is based on 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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