Suspect arrested for allegedly trying to take officer’s gun during scuffle with St. George Police

2018 file photo of St. George Police officers respond to a two-vehicle collision on Bluff Street, St. George, Utah, Feb. 20, 2018 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 20-year-old man was jailed Friday morning after he allegedly tried to disarm a police officer during a scuffle.

Brandon Gage Woods, 20, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Feb. 26, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The incident began when officers responded to a seizure call reported on River Road shortly after 7:30 a.m. They arrived to find a man sitting inside a small pickup truck kicking his legs, according to charging documents filed with the court. As the officer approached the pickup, police say the suspect, later identified as 20-year-old Brandon Gage Woods, sprang out of the truck and ran directly toward the officer who continued to order him to stop.

The report also states the officer backed away just as the suspect abruptly stopped, stumbled and then ran off, with what the officer described as a confused look in his eyes. Woods continued to stumble as he ran down the street, which the report says led the officer to believe the man was under the influence of some type of drug.

Additional officers arrived to assist and were attempting to talk to Woods to determine what was going on with him, when all of a sudden, authorities say he ran directly at one of the officers and again, he stopped abruptly before running north toward 2450 South where a second officer was staged.

The suspect allegedly ran toward the officer staged along the street, hit the officer and then fled east, as additional officers approached on foot to assist. When the suspect reached 2450 South, he was grabbed by one of the other officers who attempted to take him into custody.

While doing so, the report states, a scuffle ensued and landed both on the ground until the suspect jumped up and tried to run away. Woods was then grabbed by a third officer who ran in to help, and within seconds both officers and the suspect were back on the ground as the suspect allegedly continued fighting to break free.

It was during this tussle that one of the officers reportedly felt pressure near his duty belt and looked down to see the suspect’s hand on his firearm trying to pull it free from the holster.

The officer pinned the suspect’s hand against the gun to prevent him from freeing it from the belt. The suspect allegedly hit the release for the magazine, which dropped out onto the asphalt where it was later recovered by police.

According to the report, the suspect continued to fight the officers, yelling profanities as he fought to break free, all the while the officers continued to tell him they were there to help him.

Once emergency medical staff arrived, the suspect was given a sedative to calm him down, which only worked for “a few seconds,” the officer wrote, before Woods became combative and had to be physically restrained to prevent him from kicking at officers.

The officer also noted that Woods appeared to be having “ some type of psychosis” related to the use of a substance.

Woods was transported to St. George Regional Medical Center to be medically cleared before being booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility facing first-degree felony count of disarming a police officer, as well as misdemeanor charges that include two counts of assault against a police officer, interference with arresting officers, failure to stop at command of law enforcement and intoxication, charges that were filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office on Monday.

The suspect remains in custody and is being held without bail, according to an order signed Friday evening by District Judge Keith Barnes.

No other cases or charges relating to the suspect were found during a review of court records.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders 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, 2021, all rights reserved.

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