A 64-year-old Layton homeowner has been charged with reckless endangerment after allegedly firing his handgun twice during a confrontation with would-be burglars.
Clare Bindrup Niederhauser is scheduled for arraignment in 2nd District Court on March 19 on a class A misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment. He remained free Thursday on $3,966 bail pending the hearing.
Layton police say that on Jan. 31, Niederhauser came home late in the afternoon to find a 47-year-old man using a pry bar on the front door of his home near 2500 E. Gentile Road. Niederhauser got a handgun from his car and confronted the suspect and ordered him to drop the tool, police said.
Meanwhile, a 60- to 70-year-old male suspect and a woman, between 20 and 30 years of age, backed out of the home's driveway in a gray four-door car and fled the scene. Niederhauser allegedly fired once at the vehicle; it was not known whether the bullet hit the car.
When officers responding to a 911 call arrived, the third suspect ran into a nearby field. Niederhauser fired once into the field before officers ordered him to put away his weapon, police said.
Officers soon located the suspect, Robert Santos Cruz, and arrested him, and they also arrested Niederhauser after determining that he allegedly had "created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person" when he fired his gun.
Cruz remained in jail Thursday in lieu of $10,230 bail. He was booked on suspicion of burglary, in addition to previous counts of assault, drug possession and speeding.
Layton police are asking anyone with information on the remaining two suspects in the case to call 801-497-8300.