Man arrested in Cedar City on attempted murder warrant out of California

ST. GEORGE — A suspect wanted for attempted murder in Southern California was arrested in Cedar City after a coordinated operation was executed without incident.

Joshua Swarthout, 38, of Cedar City, booking photo taken in Iron County, Utah, Sept. 13, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Joshua Swarthout, 38, was taken into custody Friday night on a warrant out of Riverside, California for attempted murder and assault. He was subsequently transported to the Iron County Jail.

The arrest was set in motion after a Cedar City Police detective received a call from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office advising them that a man wanted for attempted murder was living in the Cedar City area.

The Riverside detective provided information on the suspect’s whereabouts and advised that Swarthout would likely be found driving a rental car, according to the probable cause statement submitted in support of the arrest.

Once the arrest warrant was confirmed through a computer check, a plan was devised and officers responded to the location provided, accompanied by Iron County Metro SWAT members and deputies from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect was located and arrested without further incident before being transported to the Iron County Jail.

The rental car Swarthout was driving was impounded by police.

The success of the operation was the direct result of planning — and taking every measure to ensure the safety of everyone involved, Cedar City Police Sgt. Clint Pollock told St. George News.

Particularly when an arrest warrant involves a serious criminal charge like attempted murder, as in this case, officers take every precaution and respond with enough manpower to effect a positive outcome, “with the goal of having everyone come out of the situation safely,” Pollock said.

The suspect is being held in the Iron County Jail without bail, as court records indicate Swarthout “would constitute a substantial danger to other persons or to the community,” the record said, or would likely flee the jurisdiction of the court if released.

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