ST. GEORGE — Police responding to an assault in St. George Sunday were able to solve a stolen firearm case after a gun dropped to the ground during a fight between two men.
Officers were dispatched to a report of an assault in progress at 1490 E. Foremaster Drive where two men were allegedly fighting, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of the arrest.
During the fight between a man identified as 19-year-old Nebiat Tadesse Sammino, of St. George, and another man, Sammino allegedly dropped a Ruger 9mm gun on the ground, the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement. Police later learned that the firearm had been reported stolen from a vehicle earlier this year.
While interviewing witnesses and those involved in the altercation, police received a theft report in which several items had been stolen from an individual in St. George including an iPhone, credit card, wallet and laptop, according to the statement. Police learned that purchases had been made on the stolen credit card.
When officers detained Sammino and searched him for additional weapons, the stolen credit card and wallet was found to be in Sammino’s possession, the report stated.
Acquaintances of Sammino’s reportedly told officers they had seen Sammino use the stolen credit card to make purchases and that they had also seen Sammino with a black laptop, according to the statement. Sammino had allegedly told one of the witnesses that he got the laptop the night before but it was locked with a password.
“(A witness) told investigators that (Sunday) afternoon, Nebiat had pointed towards an apartment and stated ‘me and clumsy went in there last night,’” the officer wrote in the statement. “(The witness) understood this to mean that Nebiat had stolen stuff out of that building as he had bragged about stealing stuff in the past. Nebiat later told (the witness) that he had stolen the laptop (Saturday) night and some beer from Walmart.”
When police questioned Sammino, he allegedly admitted to being in possession of the stolen property and subsequently allowed officers to retrieve the property from his residence, according to the statement.
Sammino was arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Sammino of two second-degree felony counts of theft by receiving stolen property and burglary of a dwelling; third-degree felony unlawful acquisition of a financial card; class A misdemeanor theft by receiving stolen property; and a class B misdemeanor for using a stolen financial card for goods.
Sammino appeared before 5th District Judge John Walston Wednesday afternoon for his initial court appearance. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on July 3.
Sammino was also arrested in March on theft-related charges to which he entered a no contest plea in abeyance in May.
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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