Four Utah County deputies to self-isolate after assault suspect tests COVID-positive in Eagle Mountain

Matthew Jarel Harding. Photo: Utah County

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah, July 17, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah County Sheriff’s deputies responded Wednesday night to a dispatch call regarding an Eagle Mountain woman who said she believed her neighbor was going to kill her.

The first officer to arrive after the 9:15 p.m. call encountered the suspect, Matthew Jarel Harding, 31, “running toward him in the street,” a news release from the sheriff’s office says.

“Harding was holding a knife above his head and was yelling for the deputy to shoot him. As Harding got close to the deputy he stopped, but was still holding the knife and refused to obey the deputy’s order to get on the ground.

“The deputy used a Taser to subdue Harding and safely take him into custody. After speaking to the victim, deputies learned Harding had held a knife to the victim’s throat, would not release her from her car, hit her several times with his fist, and had stabbed the dashboard of her car with the knife.

“They also learned that Harding had recently tested positive for COVID-19.”

Harding was booked into the Utah County Jail on the following charges:

  • Aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony
  • Assault against peace officer, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated assault, a second-degree felony
  • Threat of violence, a class A misdemeanor
  • Criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor
  • Assault domestic violence, a class B misdemeanor

A judge has ordered that Harding be held without bail.

“Because Harding is COVID-19 positive, the four deputies involved in this arrest are in self-isolation,” the Utah County Sheriff’s Office statement says.

“They will be tested to see if they have contracted this virus. Other deputies will work in Eagle Mountain in their absence. Harding will be in isolation while he is held at the Utah County Jail.”


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