St. George man in jail after allegedly pulling knife on 2 store clerks

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ST. GEORGE — A local man accused of pulling a knife on two store clerks was arrested by police Tuesday evening and remains in custody without bail.

Alexander Jeramiah Eldredge, 33, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The arrest stems from an incident reported Tuesday, when officers responded to Maverik Adventures First Stop on Sunset Boulevard shortly before 8 p.m. on a brandishing call.

Authorities arrived to learn from a store employee that a man in his 30s wearing a red shirt and black jacket had pulled a knife on him and another clerk. The employee added that the suspect was acting very aggressive and appeared intoxicated, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.

Officers located a man in the southwest corner of the parking lot who matched the description of the suspect described by the clerk. According to the report, the suspect had a 10-inch, fixed-blade Milwaukee knife in a sheath on the his right hip.

When officers showed the knife to the two store clerks, they confirmed “without a doubt” it was the same knife the suspect was holding when he reportedly threatened them, the officer wrote in the report.

The employee’s account of the suspect’s actions was also supported by security footage provided to police.

Shortly before the incident, one of the employees told officers he had noticed two men outside in the parking lot near the corner who appeared to be setting up camp, which was prohibited by store managers. Both clerks said they had been instructed to not allow anyone to loiter near the store or to sleep on the property.

Both clerks went outside to advise the two men they were not allowed set up camp in the parking lot, which is when one of the suspects, later identified as 33-year-old Alexander Eldredge, became highly aggressive “without any provocation,” the officer recounted. Both employees reported they neither approached in a threatening manner nor did they yell at the suspect, according to the report.

As the employees proceeded to explain to the men that they had to leave, it is alleged that Eldredge reacted by pulling out his fixed-blade knife and pointing it straight at them and then advanced toward them saying they “should back off.”

That is when one of the employees ran back into the store and called police, while the second clerk remained outside trying to deescalate the situation, efforts that failed when the suspect began waving the knife around as he approached the employee who then decided to leave the situation and go back inside the store.

Both employees also reported that Eldredge had the knife out the entire time and that they both felt scared and threatened by the the man’s behavior.

Officers located the suspect, and he was taken into custody. During a search prior to transport, officers found three pipes that are commonly used to smoke methamphetamine and marijuana, according to the report. Officers also found that Eldredge had four outstanding warrants for his arrest once they ran a background check at the jail.

In addition to the warrants, the suspect was also booked on two third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault, along with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia.

A request for the suspect to be held without bail was submitted Tuesday night by the arresting officer, based on the officers statements that Eldredge “committed multiple felonies” during the incident and is a danger to the community.

Additionally, the order states, the suspect “reportedly used his large fixed blade knife to scare, intimidate, and threaten two employees who were doing their jobs without any provocation.”

Moreover, the suspect “has clearly shown that he failed to show up for trials” or other court proceedings in the past whenever he’s been released on bail, which was supported by the four active warrants that were outstanding at the time of his arrest. In each of the cases, authorities say there had been multiple attempts to notify him of the appearances he was required to attend, hearings he “clearly had no intention of showing up for” or of taking care of the warrants,” the officer noted.

The order was signed by District Judge Keith C. Barnes and the suspect remains in custody without bail.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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