Suspect faces felony charges for allegedly breaking into 2 occupied homes, assaulting homeowner

St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man with a 15-year criminal history was arrested Sunday for allegedly breaking into two LaVerkin residences – both of which were occupied at the time – and for assaulting one of the homeowners while fleeing.

2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only showing state Route 9, just blocks from where the break-ins were reported in LaVerkin, Utah, July 16, 2020 | Photo by Ronald Chaffin, St. George News

On Sunday shortly after 10 p.m., a man later identified as 36-year-old Danny Art Dutton, broke into a residence located on East 400 North in LaVerkin, according to charging documents submitted to the court.

The suspect entered the home by reaching his hand through a doggie door and then unlocking the back door of the residence.

While inside, Dutton allegedly took several items, including a couple of torches, and was then confronted by the homeowner who was inside during the break-in and who told him to leave.

Once outside, the report states, the homeowner reported seeing Dutton rummaging through two vehicles parked in the driveway of the residence. The suspect is believed to have taken a Bluetooth transistor from one of the cars, as well as other items from both vehicles before he was seen getting into a car and driving off.

Officers were dispatched to the area for a follow-up investigation, but the suspect was not located at that time.

The following day, a woman called 911 reporting that a man had forced his way into her residence on South 500 West. The woman reportedly encountered the suspect inside her home, and he punched her in the head before fleeing the area prior to officers arriving.

Through the course of the investigation, police say they suspected Dutton as the man who allegedly broke into the home. They also gathered information as the possible whereabouts of the suspect.

Officers scouring the area located Dutton sitting in a vehicle on East 400 North. He was then detained by police.

As the suspect got out of his vehicle, the report states officers noticed a Bluetooth transistor “in plain view” that matched the one taken during the vehicle burglary the day before. During a search of the car, officers also located the two torches and other items believed to have been stolen during the burglaries from the night before.

Officers also reportedly recovered a glass pipe with suspected marijuana residue in the suspect’s pocket during a search prior to transport.

Police say the suspect denied ever entering the woman’s home earlier that day.

Dutton was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he was booked into jail.

The suspect has had several brushes with the law, including cases involving physical violence.

One such case, filed in July 2019 following the suspect’s arrest for assault, police responded to a disturbance in Hurricane and arrived to find one of Dutton’s elderly family members bleeding from a wound to the head. The front door to the residence had been kicked in, which caused extensive damage to the door, according to a police report filed in support of the arrest.

2017 file photo of officers responding to a collision on State Street, Hurricane, Utah, July 9, 2017 | Photo by Ron Chaffin, St. George News

Police say witnesses reported that Dutton was heard threatening to kill his relatives..

He was later charged with misdemeanor assault, threat of violence and criminal mischief.  The case against Dutton was dismissed in April of this year “in the interest of justice,” court records revealed.

He was also charged with assault on a peace officer in a 2018 case after police responded to a suspicious person call in Hurricane and arrived to find Dutton in the backyard of a residence where a woman inside had called police.

According to the police report, after officers determined the suspect was possibly under the influence of some type of substance, in addition to finding drug paraphernalia in his pocket, he was transported to jail where he began to fight with officers in the transport bay. The report states the suspect pushed one of the officers so hard he knocked the body camera from the officer’s uniform and kicked a second officer in the forearm.

He was charged with multiple offenses, including assault on a peace officer, and he was placed on probation in the case. His probation case was closed in February of this year.

Court records indicate Dutton has multiple cases dating back to 2007, many of which include assault and drug charges and convictions.

Following the arrest on Sunday, the suspect was formally charged on Tuesday with two second-degree felony burglary of a dwelling charges, as well as assault, criminal trespass within a dwelling, possession of paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and two counts of vehicle burglary – each a misdemeanor charge.

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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