Homeless man arrested for squatting in empty home

Stock image, Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – Police arrested a homeless Cedar City man last week on second-degree felony and class B misdemeanor charges after they allegedly found him squatting in an empty home and using power shut off the month before.

Cedar City Police arrested 55-year-old Benjamin Taylor Friday for alleged burglary, theft of services and resisting arrest while responding to reports of a trespasser around the block of 400 South 225 East.

According to charging documents, Taylor was “known to assault officers,” from previous dealings. When police approached Taylor, he allegedly became agitated, prompting authorities to try to take him into custody to avoid any potential issues while they investigated the incident.

Taylor, however, pulled away from officers at which time they took him to the ground, the report stated.

Officer Ryan Coleman, the lead officer on scene, wrote in the documents that the homeowner said the house was supposed to be empty and the power had been shut off for about a month.

However, police allegedly found Taylor’s belongings in a back bedroom and the main power in the rear of the house turned on, documents stated.

“Ben didn’t have permission to be in the house,” Coleman said, “nor did Ben have permission to turn the main power to the house on.”

The charges for burglary and theft of services stemmed from Taylor entering and remaining in the house and for turning on the power without the owner’s permission. The additional charge of resisting arrest was added for “backing up and not letting officers take him into custody for his crimes,” documents stated.

Taylor was booked into the Iron County Jail with a $12,000 bail.

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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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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