Noncompliant sex offender pulled over for expired registration, arrested for having an ‘incendiary device’

Feb 11, 2024, 11:58 AM | Updated: 10:36 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A 51-year-old man was arrested in connection to a “suspicious circumstance” near the intersection of 800 South and State Street Saturday.

At approximately 4:45 p.m., an officer said he pulled the man over near 824 S. State Street for having an expired registration. The man was identified as Arthur Lloyd Palmer.

According to arresting documents, when scanning the expired registration, the officer could see that the truck’s color should have been white, but it was black. The registered owner also matched a hit from the National Crime Information Center out of Arizona for a noncompliant sex offender.

Salt Lake City officers said when they told Palmer to exit the truck, he pulled out a fixed-blade knife in a leather sheath.

“He stripped the knife from the sheath in an immediate show of force and held it up explaining ‘shoot me,’” the document states.

According to the document, an officer pulled his gun out in response and instructed Palmer to drop the knife. Police said Palmer did drop it into his lap but still did not exit the vehicle. Palmer was forcefully arrested at that point.

“During their investigation, the officers noticed a suspicious circumstance inside the pickup truck,” said SLCPD spokesperson Brent Weisberg. “That suspicious circumstance involved liquids inside that vehicle.”

Arthur Palmer’s truck being secured by a bomb squad after he had been arrested and told officers there were explosives in his vehicle. (Salt Lake City Police Department)

Police said officers saw several jars filled with liquid and other objects that concerned them. The department’s bomb squad was called out.

Taco Time and Epic Brewing were forced to evacuate and other nearby businesses closed early.

“There doesn’t appear to be any significant threat to our community but we have closed State Street from 800 South to 900 South,” Weisberg said Saturday night.

Investigators collected and studied evidence on the scene until nearly 9 p.m. Saturday.

“These situations take up a lot of time, but our number priority is for the safety of our officers and our community members who live, work and visit in this part of Salt Lake City,” Weisberg said.

At least two devices found

According to the statement, the bomb squad found at least two devices Palmer told them about, that they’re still investigating.

Palmer told officers that he had explosives he planned to use in World War III, which he believes is imminent.

“He stated that he plans to use these devices against the enemy,” the document states.

The department’s Hazardous Devices Units is still investigating both the vehicle and devices, which may result in more charges, according to the arresting document. Police did not say definitively if the bomb squad found any legitimacy to the explosive threat, but did say the materials were safely removed and will be stored safely as evidence.

Case records show Palmer was found guilty in Arizona of sexual conduct with a minor in 1996. He also had a separate guilty charge of arson in Arizona in 2010.

The arresting document alleges that Palmer “had been in the state of Utah for years avoiding capture or registry.”

Palmer was booked on two counts of recklessness for having an incendiary device, second-degree felonies; 12 counts of failure to register as a sex offender, third-degree felonies; two counts of failure to maintain current ID card for a sex/child abuse offender, Class-A misdemeanors; aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; interference with an arresting officer, a Class B misdemeanor; possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony, and failure to register an expired vehicle registration.


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Noncompliant sex offender pulled over for expired registration, arrested for having an ‘incendiary device’