CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Man accused of attacking wife and police officer, reportedly angry over testing positive for COVID-19

Jul 17, 2020, 6:17 PM
Man accused of attacking wife and police officer, reportedly angry over testing positive for COVID-...
(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

EAGLE MOUNTAIN – A man with a history of domestic violence is arrested again after police say he threatened his wife and a Utah County police officer.  Investigators say it stemmed from him becoming angry over testing positive for COVID-19. 

According to the probable cause statement, Matthew Harding began drinking heavily after getting test results back showing he had the virus.  After that, Harding and his wife reportedly got into their car and drove around the city of Eagle Mountain Thursday night.  While in the car, they started arguing and Harding reportedly threatened to kill her if she stopped.

(Booking photo: Matthew Harding, via Utah County Sheriff’s Office)

“He had held a knife to her throat.  He would not let her get out of the car,” says Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant Spencer Cannon.

The statement also says Harding threatened to kill himself and stabbed the dashboard several times.  After a while, Harding reportedly calmed down to the point where his wife was able to get out, however, Harding allegedly chased after her, grabbed her by the arms and hit her several times.

When a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy arrived, Harding reportedly made stabbing motions at him.

Cannon says, “He was holding his arm in what [the deputy] describes as an ice pick fashion.  Basically, his elbow was bent over his head in, maybe, a stabbing motion.”

The deputy says he believes Harding posed a serious threat to himself and the deputy, adding that Harding screamed, “Kill me now.”  Cannon says Harding has said he wanted to die in the past.

“He’s got a history of emotional challenges.  This isn’t the first time he has expressed that feeling.  We’ve had other interactions with him where that was his expressed intent,” Cannon says.

The arresting deputy used a taser to subdue Harding before arresting him.  Harding was booked into the Utah County Jail for aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, domestic violence assault, assault against a peace officer, threat of violence and criminal mischief.

The arresting deputy, along with three others who assisted, were all exposed to the virus during their interaction with Harding.

“They will be in quarantine for a couple of weeks,” Cannon says.

 

Related Links:

COVID-19 stress counseling is available and free to Utahns

COVID-19 deaths in Utah may not be reported in real-time

Salt Lake County DA suggests major changes to police shootings laws

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