ST. GEORGE – A 22-year-old man was arrested in St. George Saturday after allegedly assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest following a response to a drug overdose incident.
Police officers and other responders were dispatched to a residence on Stonebridge Drive, where Justin Taylor, 22, of St. George, had overdosed. According to the probable cause statement written by a responding officer, Taylor had been drinking alcohol and taking other substances. In addition to the alcohol, Taylor allegedly told police he had also be smoking marijuana and taking acid.
“Justin was actively puking and falling over when he tried to sit up,” the officer wrote.
Taylor’s speech was also slurred and his breath gave off a strong scent of alcohol, according to the statement.
As medical personnel on scene tried to help, Taylor began banging his head against the ground, the statement said. While responders went to get a pillow to provide a softer surface for the man’s headbanging, he began to kick at firefighters on scene, as well. The officer pinned Taylor’s feet and told him to stop kicking, and that is when, according to the report, Taylor “started swinging his fists” at the officer and other responders. He then managed to get a leg free and kick the officer in the leg.
“Justin started screaming about fighting every last cop, firefighter, and ambulance person there,” the officer said in the report.
Taylor continued fighting despite commands to stop and was told he was under arrest. He fought officers as they put handcuffs on him and continued to fight and struggle until it appeared he was starting to calm down – though that was short-lived.
“Justin kicked straight up, striking me in the crotch while yelling, ‘F— off!’” the officer wrote.
Taylor then engaged in a new round of fighting and attacking everyone around him, according to the statement.
Taylor was ultimately placed in hobbles – ankle restraints – and put in a patrol car for transport to Dixie Regional Medical Center. Once at the hospital, Taylor continued to be combative.
“I ran in and found Justin actively fighting in handcuffs with the officer on scene, hospital security, and (two) hospital nurses,” the officer, who originally responded to the overdose call, wrote in the probable cause statement.
After being restrained, placed in additional restraints and sedated, Taylor made threats against the lives of the officers and medical staff and everyone involved until the sedative knocked him out.
Prior to Taylor fighting officers and going to the hospital, police obtained permission to enter the home they were originally called to, where another male was found having a similar reaction to the overdose as Taylor had, according to the statement.
Alleged marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in Taylor’s room, according to the report. A large, 10-inch bowie knife was also taken as evidence after Taylor’s girlfriend made police aware of it. She told police Taylor had been swinging it around while they were smoking marijuana. She also told police she took the blade from him before he attacked anyone with it.
Taylor was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility after being medically cleared at DRMC. He faces seven misdemeanor-level charges that include assaulting a police officer, unlawful possession of a weapon (having/using the knife while having marijuana), interfering with an arresting officer, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct and intoxication.
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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