Man arrested for firing several shots at passing vehicle told police ‘he feared for his safety’
SOUTHERN UTAH — A man was booked on multiple counts of assault after he fired several shots at a truck that passed by his truck and RV.
Daniel Trent Patterson, 32, was booked on four counts of aggravated assault as third-degree felonies on January 1 for the incident.
According to a statement of probable cause, Patterson told Washington County Sheriff’s officers that he and his girlfriend were in the Hurricane/Warner Valley area in a truck and an RV.
Patterson said a truck almost ran into his vehicles, and then came back about an hour later.
He said when the truck was 150 feet away from them, he feared for the couple’s safety and fired several “warning shots” at the vehicle. He told police he then fired several more shots as the vehicle turned away from them and drove away, hitting the truck several times.
He said he fired again when the truck stopped because he feared the occupants might be retrieving a weapon and he wanted them to leave.
Police located the truck and its four occupants, who reported they were going to hunt rabbits and followed a road that took them near Patterson’s encampment. They said they drove by the first time, and were shot at unexpectedly as they returned about an hour later on that same road.
The group said Patterson shot at them, stopped to reload, and then fired more shots before getting in his own vehicle and chasing them.
Police found bullet holes in the truck, one of which was “only inches away from the glass where the rear passenger was seated.”
Police investigated the area and found numerous well used roads and pull outs in the area—which is a popular place for RVs, ATVs and other outdoor recreation.
Officers determined Patterson had not been in any danger when he fired at the vehicle and in their view “was not justified in using deadly force.”
Patterson was booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility on the four counts of aggravated assault with a weapon.