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Charges give new details in Sanpete County police shooting

Published October 1, 2013 10:55 pm

Courts • David A. Searle accused of stealing truck and trying to run down trooper.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Sanpete County man was charged Tuesday, a week after he was shot in a confrontation with police.

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper shot David A. Searle, 43, last week during an investigation of a stolen truck, according to charges filed Tuesday. The 2001 pickup was reported stolen early Sept. 25 from a field in Spring City, police wrote; the owner said a pistol and a rifle were inside the truck.

A clerk at a Mount Pleasant Maverik station said he had seen the truck during his graveyard shift the same day it had been stolen; the driver, later identified as Searle, was visible in security footage buying cigarettes and Gatorade while carrying a pistol in his waistband.

Officers found the truck a few hours later in Spring City Canyon, police wrote. Sanpete County sheriff's deputies and UHP troopers tried to set up a perimeter as deputies approached the truck, police have said. Searle's mother approached a detective at the scene and said she was talking to Searle on her cellphone, police wrote.

A detective spoke with Searle, who "kept bouncing around from one topic to another," investigators wrote.

"He talked about wanting to see his son and being concerned about who was going to take care of him," police wrote.

Searle asked to speak to his wife; as the phone was handed to her, shots rang out, police wrote.

Officers had tried to apprehend Searle, but he allegedly began driving toward a trooper, who fired at the truck, UHP officials have said.

"Fragmented pieces of one round hit [Searle] in the right arm," according to a UHP statement.

Searle, who lives in Spring City, was hospitalized and then taken to jail.

The trooper was placed on paid administrative leave pending the shooting review.

Searle was charged Tuesday with three second-degree felony counts of theft, third-degree felony aggravated assault, and two third-degree felony counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

Searle also was charged a month ago in 6th District Judicial Court in Manti with drug possession, for allegedly having methamphetamine on Aug. 15, and disorderly conduct. A scheduling hearing is set for Nov. 13.


Twitter: @erinalberty




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