CEDAR CITY – A Cedar City man is finally in custody after 48 hours of displaying what authorities are calling “erratic behavior” including allegedly threatening law enforcement agents while discharging a firearm.
Christopher Lee Lescoe, 32, turned himself into authorities around 6 p.m. Saturday on an arrest warrant Cedar City Police obtained Friday evening for six counts of felony discharge of a firearm, all third-degree felonies. In addition, he is facing two Class B misdemeanors for threat of violence and discharge of a firearm.
Lescoe is currently in the Iron County Correctional Facility on no bail.
SWAT teams from Cedar City Police and Iron County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Brian Head Thursday night after Lescoe allegedly made several threats toward law enforcement and himself via social media, Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack said.
“But the police felt he would calm down and so instead of going in and escalating the situation they just backed off for the night because they didn’t believe he posed a serious threat,” Womack said.
The following day, however, police were again alerted to issues with the suspect who was still in Brian Head.
According to the probable cause statement filed in 5th District Court for the arrest warrant, Cedar City Police Chief Darin Adams states that he heard Lescoe tell the clerk at the Grand Lodge Hotel that he wanted to “do suicide by cop.” Adams’ report is not clear on how he was listening in to the conversation and Womack did not have any details.
Shortly before Lescoe made the threat Adams said he witnessed the suspect take an “assault-style rifle from the hotel and place it in the back seat of his Dodge pickup truck.”
The court record has a four-hour gap between that incident and the next that occurred at 5 p.m. when Adams said he was on the phone with Lescoe. During the call, the suspect allegedly expressed irritation with police, threatening to teach them a lesson that same night.
Lescoe further stated that he had just loaded “two thousand rounds of .223 ammunition” into his truck and threatened to “end it,” court records state.
It was then, Adams said, that he heard a “very loud bang over the phone.” Lescoe told him he had “just killed a magazine” and had shot six rounds into the wall of his home. Adams later confirmed this during a search of the residence, he said.
Under Utah law, anyone who discharges a firearm with the intent of intimidating or harassing another is considered to have committed a third-degree felony for felony discharge of a firearm. Lescoe’s alleged actions led law enforcement to file felony charges believing he “intended to intimidate police,” Womack said.
At 5:30 p.m. the conversation between Adams and Lescoe continued with the suspect now allegedly telling the chief he “should fear for his life,” and threatening to come down to the Police Department. Lescoe then reportedly said he shot eight rounds into the wall of his garage.
“Defendant has been very threatening toward law enforcement and, at one point during the interview of Defendant’s wife, stated that he had three guns and was on his way to his house to meet police,” court documents state.
Lescoe’s wife and children were taken to an undisclosed location to keep them safe, Womack said.
At around 6 p.m. Friday, SWAT teams were organized; but they were later called off again when Lescoe headed toward Washington County with police trailing behind him in unmarked vehicles. At approximately 9 p.m. Friday, Womack told Cedar City News that authorities felt Lescoe posed no threat to the community and had decided not to make an arrest that evening.
The suspect allegedly called Cedar City Police Saturday morning promising to turn himself in when he came home. At that time, authorities issued an attempt to locate bulletin but warned anyone who found him not to make contact.
Police continued to communicate with the suspect throughout the day until he finally surrendered – hours after arriving in Iron County.
The reasons behind Lescoe’s alleged behavior are not known at this time and authorities do not know for sure whether drugs and alcohol played a part in the events of the last 48 hours, Womack said.
No court date has been scheduled for the defendant at this time.
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