St. George Police break into home to find man having reported meth-induced delusions hiding with kids

Stock photo by Matt Gush/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man with a lengthy criminal history spanning four states was arrested by officers in St. George, who broke through two doors to find the suspect barricaded in a bedroom with a knife and his two young children early Monday morning.

2016 file photo for illustrative purposes only of St. George Police officer responding to a call on Indian Hills Drive in St. George, Utah, Dec. 10, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The incident began shortly before 5 a.m. when the St. George Communications Center received a 911 call from a man whose muffled voice made it too difficult to understand what he was saying before the caller abruptly hung up.

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, the cell phone number was traced to 38-year-old Ignacio Raul Sanchez-Freyre at an address on Indian Hills Drive just east of Valley View, which is where officers responded to check on the resident.

While en route, authorities were also informed the suspect had a history of methamphetamine use by emergency dispatch.

Multiple police units arrived at the residence where officers could hear a man “screaming and yelling” inside of the home, according to the report, and they also heard what was described as pounding on the walls from inside.

They also heard the suspect activate the car alarm from his vehicle parked in the connected garage, and then start the car, which turned the alarm off; an exercise that went on for more than 20 minutes as the man continued yelling at officers and refusing to answer the door.

Meanwhile, several neighbors gathered outside to see what was going on, which is when officers learned the suspect had two young daughters, ages 3 and 6, who were possibly inside the home, a detail that was confirmed during a number of 911 calls made by the suspect reporting there were people trying to get into his home.

During the call, the report states, dispatchers could hear Sanchez-Freyre telling one of the children to be quiet in the background, and he continued calling 911 to report that there were people trying to get into his home.

In light of the suspect’s erratic behavior in the possible presence of two young children, along with the pounding noises and repeated calls to 911, officers broke through the front door using a sledgehammer and entered the home, which is when the suspect reportedly barricaded himself in one of the back bedrooms with the two children.

The suspect “also repeatedly refused to answer pleas from officers about whether his children were alright,” the report stated, which is when negotiations with the suspect began as officers surrounded the home and could see the suspect on the bed. He appeared to be “smothering the children,” the officer noted, which is when authorities broke through the bedroom door and took the suspect into custody.

The two young children were found unharmed.

The report also states that on the bed officers recovered a large fixed-blade knife near where the two children had been sitting, and then discovered numerous cut marks, where the bed appeared to have been repeatedly stabbed so many times, in fact, the bed was destroyed.

In this 2020 file photo (for illustrative purposes only), St. George Police officers respond to a complex off Dixie Drive in St. George, Utah, May 29, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Officers also found evidence of stab marks along the walls, and in the living room, they found both couches stabbed repeatedly – to the point the damage was clearly visible. They also found the carpet in several areas  ripped up for no apparent reason.

While speaking with Sanchez-Freyre, officers noted the suspect was sweating, appeared gaunt and sallow and continued grinding his teeth and looking around wildly, saying over and over again “there were people who were outside of his house looking for him.”

According to the report, the suspect said he was using meth, and had been for more than 48 hours straight, which, the officer noted, was a level of intoxication that had caused the suspect to hallucinate and imagine there were people out to get him, as he repeatedly stabbed his couch, bed and walls in “close proximity to his two small children.”

Investigators said the suspect engaged in reckless conduct that put the children in substantial danger of serious bodily injury or death – had the suspect decided to stab them instead of the bed while in a state of “methamphetamine induced delusions,” or his children could have been caught in the middle had the suspect reacted with violence.

Also concerning were the repeated phone calls to 911, when there was no actual emergency at the residence.

According to the report, the suspect is a convicted felon with a violent criminal history involving drugs and alcohol that spans almost 23 years beginning in 1998 involving arrests for various felony and misdemeanor crimes in four different states.

In all, the officer noted, the suspect has been arrested 18 times in the state of California, five times in the state of Utah, three times in the state of Nevada, and at least two times in Arizona. The suspect’s crimes include robbery, burglary, domestic violence assault, theft, aggravated felony DUI, felony evading, resisting arrest, intoxication, possession of a controlled substance and disorderly conduct.

One of the arrests in St. George involved a DUI reported May 30, when an officer was dispatched to a market after a concerned citizen called 911 reporting they were following a silver Chevrolet Impala northbound on Dixie Drive from Valley View Drive that was reportedly swerving all over the roadway, to the point the vehicle had nearly gone up onto the sidewalk.

The vehicle was located and stopped near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Dixie Drive, which is when the driver appeared nervous, was fidgeting and seemed agitated. After reportedly failing the field sobriety test, the suspect was arrested for felony DUI, an enhanced charge that was filed after officers ran a criminal history check that revealed multiple convictions for DUI offenses, including one arrest for felony aggravated DUI.

Following Monday’s arrest, the officer requested the suspect be held without bail, citing that Sanchez-Freyre’s continued use of meth displays a wanton disregard for the safety of his children and the community.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.

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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