Rich County man arrested after allegedly kidnapping, assaulting woman

File photo: Pixabay/ Ashby C. Sorensen

RICH COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 27, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Rich County man was arrested after allegedly kidnapping and assaulting a woman early Tuesday morning.

A probable cause statement from the 1st District Court of Rich County said John Joseph Sharkey, 43, is facing charges of:

  • Aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated assault producing loss of consciousness, a second-degree felony
  • Aggravated assault threat with show of force, a third-degree felony
  • Escape from official custody, a third-degree felony
  • Propelling a bodily substance toward face/eyes/mouth, a class A misdemeanor
  • Possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor
  • Distribution of an intimate image, a class A misdemeanor
  • Assault, a class B misdemeanor
  • Interruption/interference with a communications device, a class B misdemeanor
  • Interference with a police office, a class B misdemeanor

The arresting officer was contacted by dispatch on a report of a naked woman coming into the WorldMark resort office in Garden City, asking to use the phone and reporting that the suspect, who is known to her, had assaulted her and locked her out of a house in 12 degree weather, the statement said.

Two officers spoke with the victim. According to the probable cause statement the alleged victim described being held captive by Sharkey for two hours or more; she said he held her at knifepoint and threatened to kill her, and also pointed what was later discovered to be a pellet gun at her and threatened to shoot her.

He also allegedly assaulted her with his fists, causing bleeding from her nose and various marks on her face, strangled her unconscious, and took her phone taken away from her when she tried to contact 911. He also videotaped her, the statement said.

Officers went to the suspect’s residence and found him in a small basement hallway next to his bedroom and the doorway leading to the garage, hiding behind a coat rack, the statement said.

“Sharkey’s appearance startled me, he is a very large man, 6 feet 5 inches in height and 250-plus in weight,” the arresting officer wrote. “He immediately demanded to know where my warrant was, I ordered him to turn around and put his hands upon his head and he again demanded a warrant. I ordered him to place his hands upon his head again and he turned and ran into the garage through the doorway.”

The officer again ordered Sharkey to put his hands on his head; the suspect turned again to flee and as he turned the officer deployed his electric control device, the statement said. Sharkey again tried to flee and the officer fired his second electronic control device cartridge and it hit him in the back, but it still failed to disable him.

Two officers took Sharkey to the ground in the driveway and placed him in handcuffs, according to the probable cause statement.

“After a few minutes he seemed to calm down and I turned to escort him to my patrol vehicle when he jerked away from me out of my grasp and fled back towards the house,” the arresting officer wrote. “He (Sharkey) attempted to shut the garage door but I was able to block him from doing so and force my way into the garage with him where I again took him to the ground and held him immobile.”

Two other officers then put leg shackles on the suspect, police said.

“We escorted him to my patrol vehicle where we attempted to put him into the cage and he continually resisted going into the cage,” the statement said. “We had to use a drive stun and eventually had to put a tether leash around his leg shackles and pull him into the cage where we were able to secure him.”

At mile marker 124 in Logan Canyon the suspect begin to repeatedly bang his head against the walls of the cage and the camera of the cage, and the officer to stopped the vehicle and used a drive stun to get the suspect to stop, according to the probable cause statement.

When Sharkey was removed from the cage, he allegedly dropped three Adderall pills and a further search of his clothes found one more pill, according to police.

Court records show Sharkey committed a similar crime in Colorado and received a 10 year sentence, the statement said.

He was transported to jail, where he is being held without bail.


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