Police officer struck by fleeing vehicle, arrests made

Stock Photo | St George News

CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City Police officer was struck by a vehicle early Sunday morning after the driver of the vehicle disregarded the officer’s instruction to pull over and struck the officer while fleeing the scene.

At approximately 2:45 a.m., Cedar City Police were dispatched to an apartment complex located in the 100 North block of College Way, according to a Cedar City Police Department press statement. Upon arrival, officers encountered three people who were engaging in criminal behavior.

Austin Hank McHenry, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Sept. 28, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News
Austin Hank McHenry, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Sept. 28, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News

Officers initiated contact with the three people and gave commands for them to pull their vehicle to a designated spot for further investigation.

“The driver of the vehicle disregarded officer instructions and accelerated past the officer,” the statement said, “striking the officer’s body with the vehicle.”

The officer, whose name has not been released, sustained minor injuries and was able to continue in an attempt to apprehend the suspects. Officers pursued the suspects for a short distance prior to the vehicle coming to a stop and the suspects fleeing on foot.

“In an effort to safely apprehend the suspects and ensure public safety, police, with the assistance of deputies from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, utilized K-9’s and a Department of Public Safety helicopter to locate two suspects without incident,” the statement said.

Carson Barry Oates, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Sept. 28, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News
Carson Barry Oates, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Sept. 28, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News

Officers worked to identify the third person by following leads and coordinating with known associates. The third suspect was located in a local motel hours later and was taken into custody without incident.

The driver of the vehicle, 19-year-old Austin Hank McHenry, of St. George, was booked into the Iron County Jail on three third-degree charges of evading and assault on a police officer; two class A misdemeanors for failure to comply and assault on an officer; two class B misdemeanors for unlawful possession of alcohol and reckless driving; and seven class C misdemeanors for having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and numerous traffic offenses.

McHenry’s bail stands at $25,000.

A passenger in the vehicle, 18-year-old Carson Barry Oates, of St. George, was booked into the Iron County Jail on one class A misdemeanor for evading police; one class B misdemeanor for consumption of alcohol by a minor; and one class C misdemeanor for having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

Oates’ bail is set at $2,640.

A third, unnamed passenger was cited and released.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Ken Carlton September 28, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Good job Officers….this clearly could have escalated into the use of deadly force. Thanks for the restraint….ATTENTION citizens, beware you can be shot dead, for this type of behavior! These officers showed remarkable restraint, professionalism and should be roundly commended for the peaceful resolution.

  • Patchiz September 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Well said Carlton, well said

  • Bobber September 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Just good ol’ local boys havin’ a good time…

    • Koolaid September 29, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Send em to church for some reckoning with their sinful behavior. Isn’t it crazy how teen boys get off for kidnapping a young girl but let’s arrest them and throw the book at them for having a beer….

      • mesaman September 29, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        Explain, please

      • Just Sayin' September 29, 2014 at 7:35 pm

        They didn’t get off for kidnapping, dumb …!!!
        Ed. ellipsis.

        • Koolaid October 1, 2014 at 3:33 pm

          what punishment cdid they get? wasn’t the girl pressured by community and church people to drop charges? is that your idea of a victim support program?

  • San September 28, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    It’s been a hard weekend for local law enforcement…glad this officer will be okay. Stupid kids built a mountain out of a molehill for themselves.

  • Zonkerb September 28, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Book em Danno

  • Gary September 29, 2014 at 2:33 am

    While this incident seems to have been handled competently and professionally, an increasing number of innocents are given illegal instructions and orders by the enforcers of the king.

  • ScanMeister September 29, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Some bad decisions followed by more bad decisions…..

  • Incognegro (Josh Dalton) September 29, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    This is exactly why or citizens need to carry guns. These are two very scary thugs! The criminal element in our town surpasses any other. I should start locking my front door. (pssfft)

    • Doesn't matter September 30, 2014 at 6:27 am

      The statement below is for you …!
      Ed. ellipsis.

  • Doesn't matter September 30, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Thugs?? Watch what … you say first of all one of these kids is a family member second there KIDS! HAVING FUN and panic, they were scared, he’s never been in trouble before in fact he attends Dixie State he’s a freshman! Graduated with honors! Don’t be so quick to throw a book! Also know how the system works just because these are the charges the cops said happen doesn’t mean that’s what happened! Know what …your talking about before you speak otherwise you just sounds stupid! Thanks!
    Ed. ellipses.

    • sagemoon September 30, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Act like a thug, get called a thug. It’s the way of the world.

    • My Evil Twin September 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Oh, well then, I guess you are just another punk in a family of punks. Punks, thugs, dirt bags, ***holes, pretty much all the same.

  • Dave Rabbitt October 1, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    “DOESN’T MATTER”: So you’ll excuse vehicular assault on a police officer and evading arrest, simply because it’s a family member and he’s an honor student? If the color of his skin, was other than white, would you drop the Race Card? Why can’t half of the people who live in Washington County, UT. simply accept responsibility for their own actions? And why can’t most, simply accept sarcastic humor? Ya know what would make you feel better? START A FUNDRAISER, a Facebook Support page, call the County Attorney and have a community get-together in a park. The charges might just be dropped. OH WAIT? NOT LDS? Yeah, they’re pretty much S.O.L.

  • Doesn't matter October 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Um actually I am L.D.S THANKS and no I’m not existing the incident but I’ll tell you this these kids are no thugs punks yeah probably were all capable of making mistakes, some worse than others but if you knew these kids your judgements wouldn’t be the same

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