St. George man arrested after allegedly shooting at car, attempting to take officer’s weapon

Gustavo Armando Estevez. Photo Courtesy: Washington County Sheriff

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Dec. 30, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A St. George man has been arrested on one count of first-degree felony disarming a police officer and four counts of third-degree felony aggravated assault after he allegedly shot at another car, then tried to take an official’s weapon.

Gustavo Armando Estevez, 44, is also facing one charge of class A misdemeanor assault against a police officer, one count of class B misdemeanor discharge of firearm or weapon in city limits and one charge of class B misdemeanor carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence of alcohol/drugs, according to a probable cause statement from the 5th District Court in St. George.

Estevez was arrested just before 1:50 a.m. Sunday. The incident began when the St. George Police Department was informed of a weapon offense near 600 S. Main St., the probable cause statement said.

“The reporting party informed dispatch that an unknown person shot something at his vehicle,” the statement said. “The reporting party informed dispatch that he believed the suspect’s vehicle was a blue passenger car. He also informed dispatch that the suspect’s vehicle had a for sale sign on the back window which was written in white letters.”

Officers made contact with the reporting party and located a bullet hole in the trunk area of his vehicle. The bullet was stopped from entering the cab of the vehicle by a metal pillar, the statement said. Three other individuals were in the vehicle with the reporting party at the time the incident occurred, hence the four charges of aggravated assault.

Officials located a vehicle, matching the description the reporting party provided, a few blocks from the incident scene. The owner of the vehicle was found to be Estevez. Officers responded to Estevez’s address in St. George and made contact with him.

“Gustavo was called out of his home by officers on scene,” the statement said. “He exited his home and tried to lock his front gate. One of the officers noticed that Gustavo matched the suspect’s description and informed Gustavo he was under arrest. Gustavo interfered with the arrest by physically resisting the officer. He resisted the officers by pulling his arms apart while officers were trying to secure him in handcuffs.”

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The arresting officer conducted a search of Estevez’s person, and the statement said the suspect was being verbally combative toward the arresting officer during the search. At some point during the search, Estevez allegedly pushed his body back toward the arresting officers and used the back of his head to hit the officer in the forehead.

Estevez was taken to the St. George Police Department to be questioned concerning the incident, and he was found “to have a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.”

After being read his Miranda rights, Estevez admitted to drinking a half-bottle of tequila at some point in the evening, and was shown to have a BAC level of 0.119. During further questioning about the incident, Estevez admitted to owning a gun that he keeps in his home, but denied knowing anything about a vehicle being shot.

While Estevez was at the police department, a search warrant was drafted and approved to search the suspect’s residence. During the search of his home and property, a 9 mm Hi-Point was located and seized. The gun was in a jacket, which was found in a trash can next to where the suspect vehicle was parked. The gun had multiple rounds in the magazine, as well as one in the chamber. The jacket also contained Estevez’s Utah driver’s license, the statement said.

A search of the incident area was conducted by officers and a 9 mm expended casing was located near 556 S. Main St. on the west shoulder of Main Street. The casing matched the ammunition located in the 9 mm Hi-Point seized during the residence search, the probable cause statement said.

While in the interview room at the St. George Police Department, Estevez allegedly resisted a patrol officer and a detective while they were attempting to place him back in handcuffs. During the short struggle, Estevez attempted to disarm the patrol officer of his duty weapon.

The incident occurred when Estevez was on probation or parole, or while free on bail awaiting trial, on a previous felony charge. He is being held at Washington County Jail with his bail set at $50,000.

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