Suspect in jail following 3 pursuits with multiple agencies over weekend

Composite image with background stock photo by IpekMorel/iStock/Getty Images Plus; overlay file photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A suspect is in jail following a series of pursuits with multiple agencies over the weekend. The arrest was set in motion by a report of a bystander being threatened with a bat and culminated with calls to 911 by the suspect, claims of broken bones and abandoned Amazon packages and ultimately the arrest of the suspect in a convenience store parking lot in Hurricane two days after the first report.

2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only of police responding to 2450 East in St. George, Utah, July 9, 2020 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The first incident was reported Friday when officers were dispatched to East 440 North shortly after 9 a.m. on a disorderly call involving a suspect who reportedly pulled a bat on a bystander.

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, officers spoke to the 911 caller who said an unknown man had a bat and was striking it against the ground and pointing it him.

The man said he got into his vehicle and drove off to avoid any further confrontation but that the suspect began following him in his vehicle, a white Mazda. When officers arrived in the area, they spotted the suspect’s vehicle while the caller was still on the phone with emergency dispatch.

The officer activated his emergency lights and siren and got behind the Mazda on East 450 North, the police report states, but instead of pulling over, the suspect continued traveling west and turned onto 2450 East. The officer followed the car with lights and siren activated, noting that the suspect looked back at the officer in his rearview mirror multiple times.

At a traffic light, the officer got out of his patrol unit and approached the Mazda, ordering the male to stop and get out of the car.

Instead, the suspect reportedly turned right onto Red Cliffs Drive and continued heading southwest, which is when the officer fell back and continued to follow him. At Green Springs and Telegraph, the officer drew his duty weapon as he attempted a high-risk stop, but when he knocked on the rear window of the Mazda the suspect took off and headed north on Interstate 15.

The officer did not pursue due to concerns over public safety and instead ran the Mazda’s Nevada license plate, which revealed the owner as 29-year-old Edelberto Fierro.

Police were able to contact the suspect by phone, and Fierro allegedly said he had pulled the bat on the caller when he saw the reporting party mistreating his dog. However, Fierro refused to meet with the officer, at which point a felony evading charge, as well as a misdemeanor charge of threat of violence, was submitted to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.

Two days later, an officer in Hurricane observed a Mazda going 20 mph under the speed limit on State Street shortly before 3 a.m. The officer started following the car as it continued east and noticed that the driver continued slowing down and speeding up.

2017 file photo for illustrative purposes only of police officers on State Street in Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 16, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The driver even turned on his hazard lights for several seconds, the officer noted, leading law enforcement to suspect the driver was possibly under the influence.

As the vehicles approached 2200 West State Street, the officer activated his emergency lights to stop the car, but instead of pulling over, the vehicle reportedly continued for another mile or so with the officer close behind. At this point emergency dispatch advised the officer the suspect had called 911 to say he knew that police were behind him. Dispatch said they were telling the driver repeatedly to pull over for police.

Emergency dispatch also advised the officer that Fierro said he “knows everyone is trying to arrest him for Marijuana because he was from Nevada, but said he doesn’t have any,” the officer recounted in the report.

When the suspect pulled into a 7-Eleven convenience store, the officer approached and ordered him out of the car.

Instead of exiting the car, the driver continued asking the officer why he had to get out of the car, which is when the officer opened the driver’s side and noticed a large knife in the pocket of the door. Blocking access to the knife, the officer pulled the suspect out of the vehicle, and once backup arrived, a scuffle ensued until officers were able to take the suspect into custody. During a search, officers reportedly found a razor knife in the suspect’s pocket.

Officers identified the suspect as Fierro and learned of the charges filed Friday, as well as a third alleged incident of evading involving a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy, who became involved in a short pursuit that had also been terminated for public safety reasons.

The officer noted in his report that he suspected the suspect “was attempting the same thing tonight, hoping I would not continue trying to stop him.”

When asked about his erratic driving in the immediate incident, the suspect reportedly told police he was looking for an Amazon package that he thought he saw abandoned on the side of the road, but later he said he was looking for metal to recycle, adding he knew police were trying to stop him.

Fierro then requested medical attention, telling the officer his foot was broken, a speculation that was not supported by emergency medical personnel who arrived to assess the suspect and found no injuries. Fierro then told allegedly officers he needed to go to the hospital for his broken foot.

Stock image of St. George Regional Hospital, St. George News

The officer transported the suspect to St. George Regional Medical Center for medical clearance. As they entered the hospital, the officer noted, Fierro was walking on his own, without a limp or any sign of distress, and while speaking to medical staff, the suspect said it was actually his big toe that was fractured, adding he had already received medical attention for the injury days before.

When the suspect asked for an MRI, the request was denied, and he was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked on felony evading and three misdemeanors: obstruction of justice, interfering with an arresting officer and failing to yield for an emergency vehicle. He was also booked on the active arrest warrant.

During a search of the suspect’s vehicle, a green bat was recovered. Once officers in St. George got wind of the arrest, charges submitted in connection with the incident in St. George, including a felony evading charge and misdemeanor threat of  violence, were added. All charges were submitted to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.

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, 2022, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!