Saturday, August 8, 2020


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    Police: Man uses bowling ball to make mace; threatens to kill man, officer

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    Doug McMurdo
    Doug McMurdo
    Editor Doug McMurdo reports on news out of the Moab City Center, tourism, courts, change of government and more.

    A Moab man who police said made a mace out of a bowling ball and a steel pipe – and put the name of his alleged intended victim on the weapon and threatened the officer – is in jail on a felony charge of aggravated assault.

    A homemade mace
    Police said a man made this mace out of a bowling ball and steel pipe and spray painted on it the name of a man he planned to harm with the homemade weapon. Photo courtesy of the Moab Police Department

    Maces are a weapon of war used primarily during the Middle Ages. Simon Michael McDowell-Rutherford, 18, also earlier that morning allegedly threw bottle rockets at the man he targeted and threatened to kill him at least twice, according to the officer who wrote the report.

    A Moab Police officer responded to a convenience store in the 400 block of South Mill Creek Drive on Saturday morning regarding a report of a “male swinging a weapon at people,” according to court papers.

    The officer was directed behind the store where he said he saw the gold- and black-colored mace. As he walked toward the weapon McDowell-Rutherford, also walked toward the weapon and picked it up and began to walk towards the officer.

    The officer said the man told him he was “just yelling at a pedophile,” and called the man “several vulgar names. He then said, “It’s actually why I wrote his name on my mace.’”

    The officer said McDowell-Rutherford was waving the mace around while he spoke and refused several commands to put down the weapon, allegedly saying at one point: “You’re going to taze me? Is that what you are threatening right now?”

    When the officer said “yes,” the man allegedly said, “(Expletive) dude, a mace is going to hurt a lot worse than a taser. I am not threatening a cop, but I’m just saying, laying down (expletive) physics here, do you know what this thing was designed for in war.”

    Later, the officer alleged that McDowell-Rutherford threatened, “… I’m just saying I could take you down with one (expletive) swing.”

    But the man at that point complied and he was handcuffed and taken into custody.

    The officer spoke to the alleged victim and a witness afterwards and both claimed McDowell-Rutherford yelled at the man and shot bottle rockets at him before threatening to kill him.

    After taking the man to the Grand County Jail, the officer said he inspected the mace and confirmed McDowell-Rutherford did indeed spray paint the alleged victim’s name on it. This confirmed for the officer that the man premeditated the attack and wrote in court documents, “Had Victim 1 not left the area a very different incident might have occurred.”

    The store manager asked the officer to have McDowell-Rutherford trespassed from the store, meaning he was no longer welcome there. The officer returned to the jail to inform the man of the store’s action.

    While McDowell-Rutherford said he understood, he reportedly offered a chilling threat, telling the officer he should not have taken his mace and that “he will just make another one and find me and use it on me.”

    In requesting a high bail or no bail for McDowell-Rutherford, the officer in addition to noting the man’s intent to harm or possibly kill someone, he said he learned the man has had issues with other, older men he perceives as “checking out his girlfriend.” A witness reportedly told the officer he has known the man for a couple of years and believes he is capable of violence and even murder.

    “Mr. McDowell-Rutherford has shown no remorse for his actions and seems to think he would be justified in assaulting someone he perceives to be a pedophile.”

    The officer also noted in his request for a high bail that McDowell-Rutherford threatened to make another mace and use it on him.

    In addition to the felony aggravated assault charge, McDowell-Rutherford faces misdemeanor counts of threat of violence and disorderly conduct.

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