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SLCPD Officers Intervene, Stop Man Threatening Community Members

SALT LAKE CITY — Officers with the Salt Lake City Police Department safely stopped a 31-year-old man, holding a large drill bit, from potentially harming or stabbing community members.

“In a fraction of a second, police officers must rapidly switch from assessing threats, stopping those threats, and then immediately helping the injured,” said Chief Mike Brown. “That high expectation can come with a significant amount of stress, yet the quick thinking, under pressure, of our officers highlights their commitment to community safety and the safety of each other.”

This investigation started 3:31 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2023, when SLC911 received a 9-1-1 call from a community member about a person, later identified as Maxwell Cowan, threatening several people near 1500 South 500 West.

Officers arrived and found Cowan in a parking lot holding a large, sharp-tipped object, later identified as a drill bit. Officers also saw several community members in the parking lot.

When officers ordered Cowan to drop the weapon, he started running through the parking lot in the direction of other community members.

Cowan posed an immediate threat to community members.

Officers utilized a TASER® to take Cowan into custody to prevent him from causing serious physical injury or death to a community member.

Officers immediately placed Cowan into custody and ensured paramedics expedited their response.

Paramedics took Cowan to the hospital for minor injuries.

After being cleared by doctors at the hospital, officers booked Cowan into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on charges of public intoxication, making threats of violence, threatening others using a dangerous weapon, failing to stop at the command of a police officer, failure to identify, six counts of failure to register as a sex offender, and being in possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

Charges are only allegations, and every arrested person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is not the custodian of record for jail booking photos. Utah Code 17-22-30 mostly prohibits the release of jail booking photos. Generally, a jail booking photo can only be released by the custodian of record after a conviction or when law enforcement determines the person is a fugitive or an imminent threat to a person or public safety. In Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is the custodian of record for jail booking photos.