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Washington City man charged with 11 felonies after police standoff



WASHINGTON CITY, Utah, March 17, 2021 — A man taken into custody overnight after a multi-hour police standoff has been identified as 38-year-old Augustus James Cole.

Cole has been booked into the Washington County jail on suspicion of:

  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to stop or respond at the command of police, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance schedule l/ll/Analog, a third-degree felony
  • Violation of a protective order, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person
  • Six counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony

A probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Washington City Police Department says dispatch was alerted Thursday afternoon to a man in a silver vehicle “pointing a gun at civilians in the area of Washington.”

Officers located the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, the statement says. The driver fled, traveled into oncoming traffic to exit after police activated their sirens and emergency lights, adding “the vehicle passed multiple vehicles on the single lane onramp and also traveling at a high rate of speed at this time.

“Shortly following this another Washington City Officer observed the vehicle and again attempted to stop it, using his emergency lights. The vehicle again fled and
traveled to the location identified as 20 N. Red Trail Lane, in Washington City Utah.”

When officers caught up, the driver’s seat was empty, but the car had been left running, the statement says. Inside the vehicle was a substance suspected to be meth.

“There were also civilians who were directing officers to the location of the vehicle. When the vehicle was located, the officers also located a female who identified the driver as Augustus James Cole” and told officers he lived in a nearby second floor apartment,” the probable cause statement says.

Officers attempted to make contact with Cole, and noticed he had placed notes on the window (the statement does not reveal what was written on the notes). Officers learned Cole had at least two firearms, and “He was observed with a rifle-style firearm and a handgun in the residence, both were later confirmed to be operable.

“Due to the volatile nature of the incident and the weapons observed, tactical and negotiations were called to the scene to assist with the incident,” the statement says.

Six police officers were in an armored vehicle in the apartment complex’s parking lot while trying to negotiate with Cole, the statement says.

“At this time, Augustus was observed with a rifle in the window of his second-floor apartment. Augustus was observed by a sniper with a magnified scope, pointing the rifle directly at the armored vehicle containing the six police officers.

“He also had been observed within the apartment possessing the rifle, later identified as a shotgun. He was also observed with a handgun and had threatened to shoot any officers who entered the apartment. Following these threats and the display of the firearm, Augustus was shot by a member of the tactical team.”

Cole was transported to a hospital where he was medically cleared, the statement says.

“While at the hospital, Augustus was interviewed and admitted to being in possession of the firearms, and fleeing from Officers. He also admitted to consuming methamphetamine. Augustus was transported to PCF where he was booked on multiple charges.

“Augustus has an extensive criminal history including felony convictions for possession of firearms by a restricted person,” the probable cause statement says. “Also, Augustus was served with a protective order on 3/7/2021 which prohibited him from possessing firearms. In a review of his criminal history, this was his second offense.”

The officer who filed the probable cause statement suggested Cole be held without bail. Instead, Cole’s bail was set at $10,010 with conditions including daily check ins required if bail is posted.

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