NORTH OGDEN — Police say they were moments away from shooting a man who came at them with a knife that turned out to be fake.
Bryan David North, 39, is accused of attempting two robberies and threatening to kill someone Tuesday night.
The situation began around 11:30 p.m. at Smith's Food and Drug near 2500 North and 400 East in North Ogden. Police say North attempted to steal food which he had hidden in his jacket, and was confronted by grocery store employees. Before running from the store, he brandished a knife, threatening to kill an employee.
The man ran off, but officers received a call a short time later of someone trying to rob a 7-Eleven just a block away, at 416 E. 2600 North. An officer recognized the suspect's description as being North, a man he had dealt with previously.
Investigators went to North's home near 2600 North and 200 East and found him "behaving erratically," according to police. He came out of his house brandishing a knife at officers, police said.
"They said it looked like a real knife — they thought it was a real knife — we have to assume it was a real knife."
North approached one officer, who, Detective Paul Rhoades from the North Ogden Police department said, could have fired, but "showed a lot of restraint and held himself back."
North dropped the knife after officers contained him at gunpoint, according to police. But he continued to act in a "threatening manner," prompting an officer to use his Taser.
Detectives discovered the knife was fake.
"They said it looked like a real knife — they thought it was a real knife — we have to assume it was a real knife," Rhoades said.
North was booked into the Weber County Jail for investigation of aggravated robbery, retail theft, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.
North's father said his son suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and has a history of drug abuse. He said his son has been having a hard time functioning in the past few days and has been acting out. His father said because North is an adult, there is only so much he can do to get him help.
Utah State Court records show North has a long criminal history, including recently being charged in 2nd District Court with possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony. He was convicted of felony drug possession in 2002, according to court records, and theft in 2001.