SALT LAKE CITY — An Emery County man was charged Monday with marking his 66th birthday by attempting to hit other vehicles on the road, "mooning" drivers and "flipping off" a police officer.
Dennis Duane Butler, of Moore, is charged in 7th District Court with assault on a peace officer, a second-degree felony; three counts of aggravated assault and failing to stop for police, third-degree felonies; plus lewdness and theft, class B misdemeanors.
On Friday afternoon — which was Butler's 66th birthday, according to court records — he attempted to hit three trucks with his own vehicle on a dirt road just southwest of Moore, according to an Emery County Jail report.
"Those vehicles had to swerve off the road to avoid being hit," the report states. "(The drivers) wrote in a sworn statement that the man tried to hit them and ran them off the roadway and at one point ripped a … sign that belongs to Castle Valley Outdoors off of a post and stole it. They also said at one point that the man took his pants down and bent over showing his bare buttocks to them."
While speaking to one of those drivers, an Emery County sheriff's deputy noticed a vehicle coming toward him. The deputy turned the overhead lights on his patrol car on, but the driver kept coming, the report states. The driver was traveling 58 mph at that point.
"As the vehicle got closer it did not slow down and was going to hit me head-on so I moved my vehicle almost all the way off the roadway to the right and the driver sped past me holding up a middle finger on one hand toward me (commonly known as flipping someone off)," the deputy wrote in the report.
The deputy then chased Butler, with speeds reaching close to 100 mph, he said.
He told me he did not care who I was and what I wanted .... The man also acknowledged that he would have hit me head-on if I had not moved.
The chase ended when Butler drove to his home in Moore, parked, then ran into a shed, the report states. After several minutes, the deputy was able to talk Butler into peacefully surrendering.
"During the conversation with the driver when he was in the shed he told me he did not care who I was and what I wanted and that's why he wouldn't stop for me. The man also acknowledged that he would have hit me head-on if I had not moved," according to the report.
Butler was charged with DUI in 2017, but the case was later dismissed, according to court records. He was convicted of alcohol/drug-related reckless driving in 2008. In 1993 Butler was found guilty and mentally ill on a charge of aggravated assault, and similarly found guilty and mentally ill on a charge of reckless driving in 1998.