Suspect allegedly throws stolen golf clubs at officer during foot pursuit on River Road

ST. GEORGE — A Nevada man is in jail following an alleged theft at a sporting goods store on South River Road and subsequent foot pursuit with police – during which the suspect is accused of throwing several golf clubs at a pursuing officer.

2012 file photo of Dick’s Sporting Goods on South River Road in St. George, Utah | St. George News

A Las Vegas man, 31-year-old Emmet Leroy Julian, was arrested Monday shortly after 4 p.m. following an incident that began when police were dispatched to a theft reported at Dick’s Sporting Goods on South River Road. The first officer to arrive found the suspect reportedly fleeing the store on foot carrying three golf clubs, according to a report filed in support of the arrest.

The suspect failed to stop when ordered by police, the report states. As both the officer and the suspect continued running through the parking lot, the suspect started throwing the golf clubs at the pursuing officer, looking back at police as he did so, the officer wrote in the report.

The officer was struck in the chest by more than one of the golf clubs, which is when a taser was deployed and the suspect was subdued and taken into custody by police.

While speaking to the manager of the sporting store, officers learned that three golf clubs, a shirt, a pair of shorts and a golf glove were reportedly taken from the store. After an inventory check, the store manager confirmed to police that the three golf clubs, shirt, shorts and the golf glove were in fact stolen.

During a search of the suspect prior to transport, officers found a pocketknife, drug paraphernalia, a wallet and other items, including a bank card and a Nevada driver’s license belonging to an individual who was not the suspect.

While speaking to police, Julian allegedly told officers the bank card and ID belonged to his friend.  After advising Julian of his Miranda Rights, the report says, Julian told police the financial transaction card belonged to his friend who he had not seen in over a month, and while the suspect knew where the man lived, he had no idea where the owner of the cards was at the moment.

Officers also noticed that Julian was wearing two T-shirts at the time of the arrest and asked him if he had both shirts on when he originally entered the store, noting that a white shirt worn underneath a striped T-shirt still had the price tag on it.

At that point the suspect allegedly admitted to taking the shirt from the store without paying for it, along with the other items as listed in the report.

The suspect was then transported to St. George Regional Hospital to be treated for injuries sustained when the taser was deployed, as well as other minor injuries endured during the incident.

Once medically cleared, the suspect was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing first-degree felony aggravated robbery and three third-degree felony charges, including aggravated assault, failing to stop at an officer’s command and receiving a financial transaction card with intent to use. He also faces one count of possession of another’s identifying documents and possession of paraphernalia, each a misdemeanor.

Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility stock image | St. George News

At the time of this report, the suspect was in custody without bail.

The aggravated robbery charge was added because under Utah law, if a suspect used or threatened to use a dangerous weapon during the course of the crime, then the elements are satisfied to file that charge. That means if there is a threat or use of a dangerous weapon at any point during the commission of the crime, “or in the immediate flight after the attempt or commission of a robbery” then that charge can be submitted for review – which in this case, it was, according to the report.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained. 

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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