January 5-6, 2007

Friday was a "Christmas gift" trip to the Mandalay Bay for a shave. Josh's Christmas present to Mr. Will and me was a professional shave at "The Art of Shaving". Both of them grew their beards out a bit before they went in. I had a PPI and a wedding reception the night before so I only had about a 24 hour growth. The barbers started with a hot towel to soften up the beard. The lady shaving Will didn't soften his beard up enough, unfortunately, as he said that when she started "scraping", it brought tears to his eyes. Other than that, it was a cool experience. I don't recall that I have ever had another guy massage my face however!! They used lotions and other stuff (who knows what it was) on our face and even put a couple of I don't know what it was on our eyes after we had been shaved and they had more hot towels on our face. We smelled really "purty" when we were through. Lunch was at the "Burger Bar" there at the MB.

Sherrie and I drove up to St. George on Saturday morning to help clear out my parent's home and to go up to Cedar to see how Jason is doing. Bev and Raz have been in St. George for a few days and have things pretty well packed up and sorted out. Emily and Brad arrived a short time later and we hauled a load up to Cedar. We visited with my folks for a few minutes and then headed over to the hospital to see how Jason was doing. He had a REALLY "close shave". He was injured in a shooting last night as I indicated in my email to you yesterday. He is doing fairly well, considering. He has some nasty contusions from the shotgun blasts to his protective vest. The first pictures with snow in them were taken at the place where Jason was shot which is just about 2 blocks west of the new hospital.

Sherrie and I had to head home after helping unload things. Cedar has more snow than I have ever seen.

Love, Dad


CEDAR CITY - For the first time in more than three decades, a Cedar City police officer was shot Friday night after he tried to help a man free his vehicle from the snow.

Jason Thomas, a K-9 officer, was shot twice with a shotgun near 1325 North and 600 West before the suspect allegedly stole a nearby vehicle and fled the scene.

Thomas was wearing a bulletproof vest. The officer was transported to Valley View Medical Center for treatment.

"It could've been a bad situation," said Thomas' dad, Steve Thomas.

After allegedly shooting Jason Thomas, the suspect, Bryan Featherhat, allegedly stole a Honda Passport, which was found a couple of hours later on Midvalley Road near Lund Highway, police said.

While officers hadn't found Featherhat by 10:30 p.m. Friday, Iron County Sheriff's deputies along with other law enforcement officers were following footsteps that led away from the SUV.

Despite the uncertainties that followed the shooting, Thomas was conscious and seemingly more upset that he was shot than he was hurt, his sister Kim Riddle said.

"He was more concerned about Gino (his K-9) getting hurt," Steve Thomas said.

While Gino could have saved Thomas' life, the officer didn't let the dog out of the police vehicle to protect it.

Now that Thomas looks like he'll be OK, Steve Thomas said he's sympathetic to Featherhat's family.

"They're the ones that go through it now," he said. "I feel for the family."


Cedar officer is shot while helping driver

Police say gunman fled in vehicle of 'good Samaritan'

A Cedar City police officer was hospitalized after he was shot at least twice while helping a driver who had become stuck in a snowbank on the side of the road Friday.
About 7 p.m., officer Jason Thomas pulled to the side of the road near 650 West and 1300 North to assist the man and another driver who was already helping the man, said Cedar City police Lt. Keith Millett.
"He could smell a strong odor of alcohol on the man and started questioning him about it," Millett said. When the man turned, ostensibly to get his license from the vehicle, he emerged holding something that Thomas thought looked like an umbrella.
Instead, it was a shotgun, and the man fired, hitting Thomas in the chest.
"He hit him at such a short distance that it spun him around and he fired again, hitting him in the side, his left shoulder," Millett said. Luckily, he said, Thomas was wearing a bullet-proof vest and was not seriously injured by the shots.

The man then got into the "good Samaritan's" vehicle and drove off. Officers identified him as 30-year-old Bryan Featherhat from a driver's license in his vehicle and from the vehicle's license plate.
The man made it about six miles, to Midvalley Road in Enoch, before the car ran out of gas and he then ran away on foot. Police located the vehicle and were tracking his footprints in the snow late Friday.
Police believe Featherhat had stolen a couple of cases of beer from a convenience store earlier in the week. Millett said local stores are allowed to sell beer only until 1 a.m., and the man had come in wanting the alcohol at about 3 a.m.
"When the clerk wouldn't sell it to him, he grabbed it off the counter and ran out the door," he said. "But that's the only thing he's wanted for down here."
Featherhat was convicted of multiple charges in Iron County in 2003, including driving under the influence, failure to provide assistance at the scene of an accident and criminal trespassing, all misdemeanors. Various other charges for the same incident were dismissed, and he spent several months in jail and was ordered to complete a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
Earlier this year, Featherhat was found guilty of attempted obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to complete 50 hours of community service and pay hundreds of dollars in fines. According to court documents, Featherhat did not pay the fines and it was sent to debt collection.
Thomas was taken to Valley View Medical Center and is expected to recover. Millett said that more than 20 pellets from the bullets had penetrated the officer's skin, one puncturing one of his lungs. The other man at the scene was not injured but was a little distraught.
"He was definitely caught off guard," Millett said. "But he's doing well, considering."
Thomas is a K-9 officer in Cedar City and had his dog in the patrol vehicle at the time of the incident. Millett said that if the dog had been out of the car, he probably would have helped to capture the suspect.
Just last month, an Idaho police officer was shot in the neck by a wanted man, likely causing him to be paralyzed for life. The gunman had just robbed a Twin Falls gas station when state trooper Chris Glenn pulled him over on Highway 74 just inside the state line.
The shooter fled the scene and was later found in Nevada after he crashed his car.

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