IVINS, Utah (ABC4) — An altercation between a hiker and a man carrying a firearm on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at Tukupetsi Trailhead has led deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to increase patrols in the area.
Deputies responded to a report from a hiker at Tukupetsi Trailhead who alleged a man in his 70s carrying a firearm threatened them while they were walking their dog without a leash.
A statement from the sheriff’s office says the elderly man had felt threatened by the dog, so he got his firearm out and held it in front of him, keeping it pointed downward toward the ground.
Officials said the elderly man denied pointing the gun at the hiker or making threats toward them.
At this time, deputies do not have sufficient evidence to bring charges against anyone.
After the incident, the sheriff’s office said it has tasked the four deputies who are designated to monitor rural areas of the county to do more patrols on the trails.
“We understand the public concern with this matter,” the statement writes. “We are doing everything we can to maintain public peace while also respecting the constitutional rights of individuals while on public land.”
Officials are also working on putting up signs in the area to inform hikers about the county ordinance regarding putting dogs on a leash.
According to Washington County’s Ordinance 5-3B-3, it is against the law for the owner to let their dog run at large on all state and federal lands in the county. The owner will be held accountable regardless of the precautions taken to prevent the dog from escaping. The ordinance further states that any dog running at large is declared “a nuisance and a menace to the public health and safety,” and it will be impounded.