Reckless Burning Charges For Utah Man Who Set Apartment Building A Blaze

A Layton, Utah man has been charged with reckless burning and other charges after he set his apartment building ablaze while playing with fire.

Fire safety

Photo by: bandita

20 year old Angel David Colebrook was playing around with burning incense in an area of his apartment contaminated with gasoline when a fire started. With the help of the spilled accelerant, the fire quickly spread to neighboring apartments. Firefighters were unable to contain the fire in time. Flames completely engulfed the entire 24 apartment building, displacing all of the residents and causing multiple injuries to residents. Colebrook originally told officers the fire was a result of a kitchen accident before he came clean about playing with the incense and lighter. He was booked into Davis County Jail on reckless endangerment and reckless burning.

Reckless burning

Colebrook is facing two class A misdemeanor charges. One for reckless endangerment for endangering the lives of the other tenants through his negligence and the other for reckless burning. Utah Code 76-6-104 states “A person is guilty of reckless burning if the person:

  1. recklessly starts a fire or causes an explosion which endangers human life;
  2. having started a fire, whether recklessly or not, and knowing that it is spreading and will endanger the life or property of another, either fails to take reasonable measures to put out or control the fire or fails to give a prompt fire alarm;
  3. builds or maintains a fire without taking reasonable steps to remove all flammable materials surrounding the site of the fire as necessary to prevent the fire’s spread or escape; or
  4. damages the property of another by reckless use of fire or causing an explosion.”

The penalties for reckless burning range from a class C misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanor charges result if someone’s life is endangered or if the damage to property exceeds $1,500 in value.

Irresponsible or intentional

At this time Colebrook is being charged based on the statement that his actions were irresponsible. If investigators determine that he intentionally set the fire, he could face felony arson charges. Those facing charges related to reckless burning are encouraged to seek legal guidance to ensure their intentions are not misconstrued.

Catch and Release – Utah Man Arrested Twice in One Day for Burglary of a Vehicle

A man was arrested in Hurricane, Utah Friday afternoon for burglary of a vehicle, then arrested again three hours later – twice in one day.

Early morning crime spree

Photo by: Ecin Krispie

Multiple incidents of vehicle burglary were reported to police early Friday morning in Hurricane, Utah. 26 year old Tyjobe Sierra McCrone was discovered to be the person responsible for the break-ins and he was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane around 12:30pm. At 3:30pm, a mere three hours later, McCrone was booked again after burglarizing vehicles in the same neighborhood. This time a resident caught McCrone red-handed and police were quickly on scene to apprehend him. Between the two bookings, McCrone is facing multiple charges of theft as well as several counts of burglary of a vehicle.

Burglary of a vehicle

Utah Code 76-6-204 states “Any person who unlawfully enters any vehicle with intent to commit a felony or theft is guilty of burglary of a vehicle . . .[which is] a class A misdemeanor. “ A class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine as high as $2,500. McCrone is facing ten separate charges of burglary of a vehicle.
Plus theft
Burglary of a vehicle charges are only for the person obtaining illegal entry into someone’s else’s property. When something is taken, then additional charges of theft accrue.McCrone is facing ten counts of theft of an item under $500, along with ten counts of burglary of a vehicle, each a class B misdemeanor.

Unfair accumulation

According to a report by the Hurricane Police Department, McCrone was suspected of going in around six different vehicles, yet was charged with ten counts of burglary of a vehicle. Not only did he not go in as many vehicles as reported, he did no damage as each vehicle was left unlocked. While it may seem minor when he is already facing numerous charges, an unfair accumulation of charges does not go unnoticed by the individual punished for the crimes. Anyone facing fines and incarceration when duplicates or unfair additional charges arise should consult immediately with a criminal defense attorney.

Utah Police Chief Arrested for Prescription Drug DUI

A Utah police chief was arrested for prescription drug DUI after a highway patrol officer observed the chief driving recklessly north of the town of Manua.

Reckless driving

Photo by: BitterScripts

On a late January evening, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Kent Goodrich observed a Manua police vehicle driving at a high rate of speed down the median of Highway 89. Goodrich pulled the other police vehicle over and noted the driver, 49 year old Manua Police Chief Shane Zilles appeared to be inebriated. Zilles was cooperative, yet failed a field sobriety test and struggled answering simple questions being asked him as of him. Trooper Goodrich arrested Zilles as he was notably impaired and should not have been on the road putting other people and himself in danger.

Prescription Drug DUI

Zilles inability to pass the field test pointed to him likely being impaired by either alcohol or drugs. Although Zilles appeared to be intoxicated, there was no alcohol detected through a breathalyzer and a tox screen for street drugs came back negative as well. It was determined however that Zilles had not been drinking or using street drugs, yet he had consumed prescription drugs sometime prior to getting behind the wheel of the police cruiser. He was cited for prescription drug DUI and reckless driving.

Class B misdemeanor

Taking prescription drugs is not against the law if taken by the person to whom it is prescribed. It is unlawful however to drive after taking medication if it impairs the person’s ability to drive safely. Utah Code 41-6a-502 states “A person may not operate or be in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state if the person:

• . . . is under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle”.

Section 41-6a-504 warns that “The fact that a person charged with violating section 41-6a-502 is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol or a drug is not a defense against any charge of violating [said section]. Even if the prescription if legal and valid, driving under the influence of prescription drugs that cause impairment is a class B misdemeanor as noted in section 41-6a-503. That DUI charge could be enhanced to a class A misdemeanor or third degree felony if there was bodily injury as a result of an accident or a minor passenger in the vehicle.

Medication side-effects

As a law enforcement officer, Zilles should have known better than to drive impaired. When alcohol or street drugs are involved, impairment is expected. Prescription drugs however could cause impairment that is unknown to the user. Regarding Zilles, there is some information that hasn’t been released yet:

• what type of prescription drugs he was taking; and
• Whether or not it was a new prescription or something he had experience taking and therefore would have known the side effects.

While there are some medications that are known to cause drowsiness and reduced ability to drive such as sleeping pills or narcotic pain meds, others can catch a person off guard by how much they affect their capability to drive safely. It is important to read the labels and all included paperwork with new medications to see if driving impairment is a possibility. If there is any doubt on whether or not impairment could be a factor when taking a prescription medication, drivers are urged to use caution and refrain from driving if possible. Anyone facing charges related to prescription drug DUI are encouraged to seek counsel from an experience attorney.