LOCAL NEWS

Man arrested after allegedly threatening SLC first responders with gun

Feb 24, 2024, 12:29 PM | Updated: 5:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A 23-year-old man was arrested early Saturday morning after police say he threatened emergency medical workers with a handgun.

Officials with the Salt Lake City Police Department said Gold Cross medics were called out for a medical-related issue at a home near 600 East and 2500 South before 3:30 a.m.

While being treated, police say the man, identified as Sebastian Hernandez, became combative and refused to be treated or be taken to a hospital.

According to court documents, Hernandez tried to “engage fire personnel in a physical fight” before he went back inside the home. As two medics worked to clean their ambulance, Hernandez allegedly returned outside with a black handgun and yelled at the medics.

The medics told police Hernandez pointed the gun at them and yelled, “I’m going to kill you.” They quickly left the scene as police said Hernandez ran after the ambulance, pointing the gun at the vehicle.

“We will not tolerate threats of violence or harm against our public safety partners,” said SLCPD Chief Mike Brown. “No matter the time of day, our first responders are here in our community prepared to help. This incident, unfortunately, exposes the very real dangers public safety workers can face without warning as they go about their duties.”

Police responded to the scene and locked down the area. At one point, Hernandez exited the home, refused to cooperate, and went back inside.

A Salt Lake City Police car blocks 600 East near 2500 South while patrol and SWAT officers attempt to safely take a suspect into custody. (Salt Lake City Police Department)

SWAT officers and crisis negotiators were also called out to the scene. Police say Hernandez came out of the home around 4:30 a.m. and again refused to cooperate. Officers used a less-lethal shotgun before Hernandez reentered the home. A few minutes later, after officers continued negotiating with Hernandez, he exited the home and surrendered.

“This was an individual who was highly intoxicated, who refused to cooperate with our officers,” said Brent Weisberg, spokesperson for SLCPD. “And who potentially armed with a firearm.”

Weisberg said this incident serves as a reminder to the dangers emergency personnel could encounter on any call.

“This was a very unusual situation,” he said. “But it highlights the dangers our first responders throughout our community face on any given call.”

Police said Hernandez was heavily intoxicated and was taken to an area hospital, where he was medically cleared. He was then booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on multiple charges, including aggravated assault and interference with an arresting officer.

Alex Cabrero contributed to this story. 

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Man arrested after allegedly threatening SLC first responders with gun