HURRICANE — A Hurricane man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly breaking into a police officer’s home while she was inside sleeping. Authorities later discovered the man kept a rifle trained on a sliding glass door of the officer’s home.
At approximately 3:32 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 400 North block of 2400 West to a report of a man who unlawfully entered the residence of an off-duty St. George Police officer, Hurricane City Police Sgt. Brandon Buell said.
The off-duty police officer’s patrol car was parked outside her residence, and she was sleeping inside at the time the suspect entered. The police officer awoke to a man, later identified as 43-year-old Nathan Allen Gardiner, banging on her kitchen appliances, according to a probable cause statement by the Hurricane City Police Department in support of the arrest.
The police officer armed herself with a handgun and walked into the kitchen. Gardiner entered the living room area of the home, continually yelling, “Bring it! Bring it!” to the police officer as he raised his hands above his head, the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement.
The officer told Gardiner to leave her home, the report stated. Gardiner allegedly kept flipping off the officer as he stepped out the door of the home and continued yelling, “Bring it!”
“The-off duty officer was speaking to dispatch during this course of time while protecting herself with her weapon at a low-ready,” the arresting officer stated. “Nathan then ran to his residence and I arrived on scene a short time later.”
When Hurricane Police officers arrived on scene, they saw Gardiner attempting to leave in a vehicle. Officers tried to stop Gardiner, but he refused to comply with their commands and began driving up his driveway toward his garage.
Three officers drew their guns on Gardiner and ordered him to stop and show them his hands, the report stated. Instead, Gardiner drove into his garage and tried to close the garage door on the officers. After some time, Gardiner exited his vehicle, and officers were able to detain him.
The arresting officer reported that when Gardiner was asked why he went into the officer’s home, he told officers, “She is after me.” The officer added: “He continued saying how she was after him and always watching him.”
During this time, officers learned that Gardiner had an active third-degree felony $25,000 cash-only bail warrant issued for his arrest by the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
While he was being transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility, Gardiner had a medical emergency, and medical was dispatched, Buell said. Gardiner became combative and aggressive with officers and began assaulting them.
“Nathan also stated if he observed me or the other officer in public he would kill us,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement.
Gardiner was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George for medical clearance before being booked into jail.
“We do believe that alcohol and drugs were a factor in this incident,” Buell said. “It is still unclear on what the motive was behind the actions made by the suspect.”
According to court documents, a search warrant was executed at Gardiner’s residence, where authorities discovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, along with a Ruger .243 rifle pointing out a window.
“The rifle was on a tripod and had an optics scope on it for precision,” the arresting officer stated. “The rifle was pointed directly at the off-duty officer’s sliding glass door.”
The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Gardiner of second-degree felony burglary of a dwelling; third-degree felony possession of a firearm by a restricted person; three third-degree felony counts of assault by a prisoner; two class A misdemeanors for failure to stop at the command of police and drug possession; six class B misdemeanors for possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief, interfering with arrest, threat of violence and DUI; and two class C misdemeanors for intoxication and disorderly conduct.
Washington County Justice Judge Douglas Whitlock set a $45,000 cash-only bail for Gardiner’s release pending trial. Gardiner is scheduled to appear before 5th District Judge G. Michael Westfall Friday afternoon for his initial court appearance.
“Fortunately, no one was injured and the victim was able to remain calm and act in a manner that helped protect her,” Buell said of the incident.
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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